CBI orders framing of charges against Dera Chief

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Ambala, Jul 26 (UNI) A special CBI Court today ordered framing of charges against Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the Dera sadhvis rape case.

The Dera chief is the sole accused in the rape case filed against him on the complaint filed by his follower sadhvi Sapna and Sarjiwan.

The CBI Judge A K Verma ordered that charges of sexual exploitation and rape under sections 376, 506 IPC against the accused Dera Chief would be announced in his presence on August 23.

The Sachcha Sauda chief was not present in the court for the consecutive second time today. He had sought exemption from personal presence due to sickness.

Both the victims had approached the High Court, which directed the CBI to probe the case. During the course of investigation, more than 100 sadhvis had recorded their statements corroborating the allegations levelled against the Dera chief by the two victims.

The special CBI court had heard the arguments from both sides during the previous hearings in the case. The Dera chief was personally present during these hearings.

The CBI had submitted evidences on the basis of the chargesheet submitted prior to the expiry of 90 days of receiving the case.

The CBI on the basis of statements of the two victim sadhvis and other witnesses including a number of sadhvis, driver Khatta Singh and others had submitted that the Dera chief had victimised and sexually exploited his young women followers who served him with faith and devotion.

The CBI said the Dera Chief was guilty of repeated rape. One of the victims was sister of the then Dera Manager Ranjit Singh who was also done to death by the followers of Dera Chief for the fear of exposure and defamation.

However, the defense counsel had pleaded that the Dera Chief was being framed and the two sadhvis had filed ''concocted complaints'' on the instigation of his rivals who wanted to defame him.

The Sachcha Sauda chief is facing twin cases of rape of his follower sadhvis and murder cases including one of his Dera Manager Ranjit Singh.

Sachcha Sauda manager Inder Sein, under trial in the murder case, filed an application seeking bail today.

The Judge fixed August 7 for hearing the bail application.

UNI XC JN RSA RAI1830

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