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Chhatrapati murder case: Quantum of sentence to Dera chief to be pronounced soon
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Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. File photo

Chhatrapati murder case: Quantum of sentence to Dera chief to be pronounced soon

17 Jan 2019 | 4:24 PM

CHANDIGARH: The pronouncement of quantum of sentence to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three others convicted of the murder of journalist Ramchander Chhatrapati will be done in a few minutes from now.

[ + read story ]

Bhartesh Singh Thakur & Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 17

The pronouncement of quantum of sentence to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three others convicted of the murder of journalist Ramchander Chhatrapati will be done in a few minutes from now.

Earlier, the hearing started in the CBI Special Court, Panchkula.

Both the defence and CBI lawyers were present. Main witness Khatta Singh waited outside the court.

The CBI called for death penalty for the Dera head.

Compensation was sought for journalist’s family besides for Haryana for providing security to the Dera chief.

The CBI told the court that it was unprecedented that a godman, who had lakhs of followers, sexually abused women and got people murdered. It claimed that it was the rarest of rare case.

The arguments have been completed and the order will be pronounced around 4.30 pm.

The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence through video-conferencing.

Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements have been made in Panchkula and Sirsa--headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect headed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh--and other parts of Haryana to maintain law and order, officials said.

The court on Wednesday had accepted the Haryana government’s plea seeking appearance of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect head through video-conferencing during the pronouncement of quantum of sentence in the journalist murder case. 

The state government had said the movement of the Dera chief could lead to a law and order situation. The 51-year-old Sirsa-based sect head is currently serving a 20-year-prison term in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his women followers. 

The three other convicts--Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal--are lodged in Ambala jail. 

On January 11, Special CBI Court judge Jagdeep Singh had convicted Ram Rahim and three others in the 2002 journalist murder case. 

Ram Rahim and the three others had appeared through video-conferencing when the court convicted them. 

All the four were convicted under Section 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal were also convicted under the Arms Act. 

The minimum punishment under Section 302 is life imprisonment and the maximum is death sentence. 

The family of the slain journalist had demanded capital punishment for the guilty. 

The journalist was shot dead outside his house in October 2002 in Sirsa after his newspaper published a letter alleging sexual exploitation of women by Ram Rahim. 

Ram Rahim was named as the main conspirator in the case. 

Chhatrapati's family had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2003, seeking transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The investigation was later handed over to the CBI which filed the charge sheet in July 2007. With PTI

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