The Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday dismissed as withdrawn a parole plea filed by the wife of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who is serving jail term after being convicted of raping two of his disciples and for murdering a journalist. Harjit Kaur had filed the plea seeking three week parole for Ram Rahim “to look after his ailing mother” Naseeb Kaur (85).
“Dismissed as withdrawn, at this stage. In case the medical experts opine that the (Ram Rahim’s) mother is critically ill then the withdrawal of the case today would not be an impediment in consideration of request in accordance with law,” Justice Rajiv Narain Raina said in an order after Kaur’s lawyers failed to convince the court for Ram Rahim’s temporary release.
Earlier, Sunil Sangwan, the Superintendent of Sunaria Jail in Rohtak where the dera chief is lodged, had rejected Kaur’s plea on the basis of a report of the Sirsa deputy commissioner, who took into account the security considerations and the opinion of the board of doctors who examined Ram Rahim’s mother.
Aggrieved, Kaur approached the high court. As per the petition, Ram Rahim’s mother is suffering from a heart problem and is required to undergo angiography. “She is old and weak. She has expressed a desire that her only son Gurmeet Ram Ram Rahim be present to attend to her at this stage,” the court was told in the plea, adding Ram Rahim has also earned the necessary good prisoner conduct reports as required under the law.
As per the said provision of the 1988 Act, a prisoner can be released for three weeks in case a member of the prisoner’s family is seriously ill but the relief can be denied in case the release “is likely to endanger the security of the State or its maintenance of public order”.
Ram Rahim is serving 20 years in a rape case and life imprisonment in a murder case. In August 2017, a huge violence had broken out in Panchkula and other cities of Punjab and Haryana after the court pronounced him guilty of raping his two disciples. The court earlier this month had directed the authorities in Haryana to decide his application for parole within a fixed time frame.
This is fourth time in recent months that Ram Rahim has made an attempt to seek parole.
In June, the Dera chief had applied for a 42-day parole for farming in his fields in Sirsa. Later, he withdrew the application. Previously, when Ram Rahim’s foster daughter had approached HC for his parole, a single bench had noted that “considering the serious allegations against Ram Rahim and law and order problem, which is likely to be created, in case he is released on parole and difficulty of state in rearresting him, there is no ground to grant parole”.
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