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DISMISSING TWO appeals filed by Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday observed that appeals were filed “with an ulterior motive to delay the trial” in a rape case against him registered over 13 years ago by the CBI and thus slapped a fine of Rs 20,000.
“The petitioner cannot be allowed to play with the court proceedings in the manner he has done. At any rate, the orders under challenge are legally and factually correct and no interference is required to be made with the impugned orders. It is, therefore, necessary to impose exemplary costs upon the petitioner,” ordered Justice AB Chaudhari.
After Friday’s High Court order, the special CBI court can go ahead and pass final judgment in the case. FIR was registered by the CBI against Dera head on December 12, 2002, at Chandigarh for allegations of rape, criminal intimidation and outraging modesty of his female followers in his Dera at Sirsa.
The Dera head had moved the High Court challenging Panchkula special CBI court’s decision in which the court had rejected his applications to produce copies of statements made by the victims – women who were followers of his at the time. The special CBI court had also declined Dera head’s request to summon and examine K L Raina, one of the CBI officers who had investigated the case. The orders were passed by the special CBI court on July 13 and July 19, respectively.
After hearing arguments of Dera head’s counsel as well as the CBI counsel, Justice Chaudhari observed, “Both the prosecution as well as defence completed recording of their evidence and the prosecution arguments have been heard.”