The special CBI court on Tuesday directed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim,to appear before the court on September 17 to record his statement on the evidence that has been produced against him by the prosecution on the alleged rape of two of his disciples (sadhvis) at the Dera in Sirsa in 2002.
The court of special CBI judge,Najar Singh,issued the orders after the prosecution evidence in the case was closed.
Special CBI counsel HPS Verma said a total of 15 witnesses were cross-examined in the case,including the two women disciples who were allegedly raped. Although the woman alleged rape,their medical examination couldnt be carried out as they had later married,CBI counsel said. He added that the prosecution produced as an evidence the father of one of the women,besides other witnesses who supported the statement of disciples that they were raped.
The court has directed the recording of statement under section 313 of Cr PC.
The charges of rape of the two disciples against Rahim were leveled in 2002 and the CBI had filed a chargesheet against him in 2007.
In 2002,an anonymous letter by one of the disciples of the Dera was sent to the Prime Minister and a similar letter was sent to Punjab and Haryana High Court,following which the court directed a CBI probe,in which the investigating agency registered the rape case against him. Rahim has been recording his appearance in the case through video-conferencing in the case.
He is also facing murder charge of a journalist,Ram Chander Chhaterpati and former Dera manager Ranjit Singh,in which the court listed the case for September 10 for the recording the evidence of the witnesses.
The investigating officer in the murder case against the Dera chief was called for recording of evidence,but that has been put off till 10 September now, CBI counsel Verma said. The journalist had allegedly exposed the misdeeds of the Dera chief and Ranjit Singh,as a manager at the Dera had also protested over his conduct.