National

Journalist Murder Case: CBI Special Court Pronounces Life Imprisonment To Gurmeet Ram Rahim

PRERNA YADAV | 0
3656
| January 17 , 2019 , 18:59 IST

In Journalist Ramchandra Chhatarpati murder case, CBI Special Court in Panchkula pronounced life imprisonment to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Thursday.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the self-styled godman. Three other convicts Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh, and Krishan Lal, have also been given life imprisonment.

Elaborate security arrangements were made in Panchkula and Sirsa, headquarters of Ram Rahim Singh, and other parts of Haryana to maintain law and order situation.

The convicts, Ram Rahim, and three others appeared through video conference. The 51-year-old Sirsa-based sect head was serving a 20-year-prison term in Rohtak's Sunaria jail for raping two of his women followers.  While the three other convicts, Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh, and Krishan Lal, are lodged in Ambala jail.

The CBI court on Wednesday accepted the plea of the Haryana government, which had sought appearance of the 51-year-old sect head through video conferencing during the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence for the murder of journalist Ramchander Chhatrapati, said CBI counsel HPS Verma.

On January 11, special CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh had convicted the self-styled godman and three others  Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal in the murder case. All four were convicted under Section 302 (murder) and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal were also convicted under the Arms Act.

The state government had filed the plea on Tuesday, citing that the movement of the Dera chief could lead to a law and order situation.

In October 2002 Journalist Chhatrapati was shot outside his house in Haryana's Sirsa city after his newspaper Poora Sach published an anonymous letter narrating the alleged sexual exploitation of women followers by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at the Dera headquarters in the city.

The Dera chief 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 CBI. The investigation was later handed over to the CBI which filed a charge sheet in July 2007.