Challenging the trial court order dismissing his appeal for recalling him as a witness in the murder cases against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s former driver, Khatta Singh, moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday, saying it was essential to take his testimony on record in the case. The Special CBI Court, hearing the two murder cases of a journalist and a rape survivor’s brother, had rejected Khatta’s application to record his statement afresh in the matter, saying the case had reached the stage of final arguments and has been pending for over 10 years.
Khatta, in his appeal to the High Court, said the “delayed trial cannot outweigh the interest of justice” and the final arguments are to take a long time to conclude. The revision appeal would be heard by the single bench of Justice Surinder Gupta on Tuesday. Also Read: Prison food for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh tasted for safety, samples preserved for 48 hours
“The petitioner is an ex-devotee of Dera Sacha Sauda and he has worked as a driver of the bus in which Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh used to travel outside Dera Sacha Sauda for the purpose of Satsang. He lived in the Dera during the time this crime was committed and has personal knowledge about the circumstances in which the murder of the rape survivor’s brother was committed on the orders of Gurmeet Ram Rahim,” Khatta’s counsel told the High Court in the revision plea. Also Read: Was Sirsa dera sanitisation a post-mortem? HC seeks report from Haryana govt
Though Khatta had recorded his statement as a prosecution witness in June 2007, he later retracted from it in 2012. Khatta has said he had to retract his statement because of the insecurity and threat from Gurmeet.
“He [Gurmeet] was being protected by security guards having been provided by the central government, Haryana Government and Punjab government and his clout in the political circles had given a sense of insecurity to people like the petitioner, who wanted to come forward and speak the truth about his and his diehard followers’ criminal activities,” the plea reads.