Gurmeet Ram Rahim sentenced to 20 years in jail for rape
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to 20 years and a fine of Rs 30 lakh for raping two women 15 years ago after being held guilty on rape charges. The court read out the quantum of sentence following arguments put forth by both sides. The court held that he shall be treated as any other ordinary prisoner and shall not be entitled to any special treatment.
"It is 20 years in jail for Singh as two sentences will run consecutively with fine of Rs 30 lakh (Rs 15 lakh in each case)," Singh's lawyer SK Garg Narwana told reporters.
The court held that the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Ram Rahim was guilty of rape. The court also took into account the gravity of the offence while pronouncing the sentence of 20 years which is the maximum under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
There was high drama after the sentencing. Ram Rahim broke down and sat on the floor refusing to budge. He said that he is suffering from a medical condition and the state would be responsible if something were to happen to him. The doctor was brought in and he was declared fit. The doctor said that there was no need for any leniency. The jail authorities then had to come in and drag him into his prison cell.
The CBI court in its order said that he should be shifted to an ordinary cell. He should be made to wear the jail clothes and will not be permitted to get his own. The court directed the jail authorities to strictly adhere to the order and show no leniency.
During the arguments, the defence counsel pleaded for a lesser sentence. The counsel said that he has undertaken lot of social work. He has worked for the welfare of women too, the defence contended.
The CBI on the other hand sought for maximum punishment. The counsel said that he had raped the women for three years. There are around 45 women who have not come forward and testified, the CBI also argued.
Ram Rahim during the arguments however broke down. With folded hands, he pleaded fora lesser sentence, but in vain. Following the verdict he was sent for a medical examination. He would be given the prison uniform and moved to an allotted cell.