IN FRESH legal trouble for Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, an application has been moved in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking CBI probe into the alleged suicides of Dera followers which had taken place during the pendency of the rape cases against him. An intervention application filed by a lawyer, Mohinder Singh Joshi, has sought revival of a 2015 plea that had remained undecided when the main litigation on the alleged imparting of weapons training to the activists of Dera Sacha Sauda at its Sirsa headquarters was disposed of by the court.
In 2015, a former follower of the dera chief, Ram Kumar Bishnoi, had sent a letter to the High Court by post alleging the suicides were in fact murders committed by Gurmeet and his aides as part of a “deep-rooted conspiracy”. The application was sent to the judicial side for hearing and was listed with the other dera-related case.
Advocate Joshi, in a fresh application, has said the case remained pending because Bishnoi’s application was registered with the main case on the weapons training which was decided by a High Court division bench on May 14 in 2015.
“The letter was required to be registered as a separate writ petition and this fact was not brought to the kind notice of the High Court. Therefore, the CBI may be directed to investigate all cases of alleged suicides/murders relating to Dera followers at the instigation of the dera head under deep-rooted conspiracy as alleged in the letter,” he said.
Taking a strong note of the application on January 14 in 2015, the High Court had issued a notice to Dera Sacha Sauda for a response. The application copies had been also handed over to the counsels representing Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for a possible reply. Joshi, in his plea, has said no reply has been filed on the allegations till date.
Bishnoi, in his application, said, “In all the cases, it is mentioned that the suicider (sic) was feeling pain by the peshis (court hearings) of Ram Rahim accused…. Baba Ram Rahim is trying his best to put the CBI, the government and the judiciary under threat by collecting lakhs of people before the court…Now he is instigating the followers to commit suicide to put pressure on the government and awarding them titles such as ‘Mahaan Shaheed’”.
Gurmeet was convicted in two rape cases on August 25 by a special CBI court at Panchkula and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. His followers, who had gathered days ahead of the verdict day, had indulged in violence in Haryana district following the verdict.