Dera empire under HC scanner after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentence

Early estimates indicate dera assets could be worth Rs 1,100 crore in Haryana

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Updated: September 3, 2017 6:42 am
Outside the ground where the sets for Rahim Rahim’s films are usually put up. The baba is said to design the sets himself. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

The empire of the Dera Sacha Sauda is under the scanner of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, with the state governments of both Haryana and Punjab being directed to tabulate the movable and immovable assets of the dera. The court has also directed the state governments not to allow the ownership of any of the assets in the dera’s name to be transferred till further orders. Though the Haryana government is still in the process of tabulating the worth of dera assets across the state, a preliminary assessment indicates it could be at least Rs 1,100 crore. To ascertain the dera’s immovable assets, the government has frozen its bank accounts. Punjab estimates the dera’s assets to be worth approximately Rs 53 crore.

According to details compiled by the Haryana government, the dera owns over 1,093 acres across 18 districts of the state. The current market value of the land on which the dera’s 1,000-acre Sirsa headquarters is based, is approximately Rs 30 lakh per acre. The dera has at least 48 branches spread not only across the country, but in Australia, Canada, the UAE, UK and USA, with the dera claiming it has more than six crore followers across the globe.

Besides the establishments on the Sirsa campus, the dera runs several schools and colleges in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The dera also owns at least 200 Naam Charcha Ghars or community halls across Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Some of these structures were built on private land, whose owners — according to statements they made to the Punjab government — say they “gifted” them to the dera.

Sources said the Haryana government is probing a network of companies that are registered at the address of the Dera Sacha Sauda or have the dera chief’s close aides and confidants as directors.

Read | Inside the dera

For instance, all five movie ventures of Ram Rahim have been produced by Hakikat Entertainment Private Limited which, according to records of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has five persons as directors — Pushpa Buri, Jitender Khurana, Baggarh Singh, Rakesh Kumar and Chhinder Pal Arora. With an authorised capital of Rs 15 crore, the company, that was incorporated on September 20, 2009, has its address as Upper Plaza Market, Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa.

Chhinder Pal Arora is considered a close confidant of the dera chief and is also a director in another company, MS Tech Communication Private Limited, whose other directors are Rakesh Kumar, Baggarh Singh, Neelam and Vipassana Chawla. Vipassana is also the chairperson of the Dera Sacha Sauda Trust. With an authorised capital of Rs 1 lakh, this company was incorporated on August 29, 2016, and is registered at 80, East Azad Nagar, Raghuvar Pura, Shahadra, Delhi.

At the same address is MSG Electric Systems Private Limited, which was incorporated a day later. Besides Chhinder Pal Arora, this company’s directors include Rakesh Kumar, Neelam, Dimple Chaudhary and Sapna. This company was incorporated with an authorised capital of Rs. 5 crore.

Chhinder Pal Arora, Baggarh Singh and Rakesh Kumar are also directors of MSG All Trading Private Limited, which launched the MSG range of food products in March last year. Despite repeated attempts, the dera’s spokespersons were not available for comment. The main spokesperson of the dera, Aditya Insan, is currently absconding.

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