Dera Sacha Sauda chief and self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Monday approached Punjab & Haryana High Court to appeal against the verdict of Panchkula’s Special CBI Court, ANI reports. A special CBI court had on August 29th sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in jail for rape of his two followers. The court had held that he had acted like a “wild beast” who did not even spare his own “pious” female disciples. PTI reported that court also said that Ram Rahim, 50, committed breach of gravest nature by sexually assaulting “such gullible and blind followers” and that he did not deserve any leniency. In his 9-page order, Judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two rapes that date back to 2002.
The sentenced was pronounced three days after the conviction of the Dera chief that sparked violence leaving 38 dead and scores injured in Haryana on August 26. Defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana had said that sentences will run “consecutively” for a total of 20 years in jail for the Dera chief. Ram Rahim has millions of followers and counts politicians as well as celebrities as his followers.
The lawyer had at that time informed the orders will be challenged. Apart from 20 years in jail, the judge also fined the 50-year-old flamboyant guru Rs 15 lakh in each of the two offences, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims. “Having due regard to the peculiar fact and circumstances of the case, the court is of the view that if acts of the convict in sexually exploiting his own female disciples and intimidating them of dire consequences is taken note of, then such kind of persons does not deserve any kind of leniency from the court,” he said.