Here are the other self-styled Godmen who were accused of various criminal charges
A CBI Court in Panchkula, will pronounce the verdict on rape accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Dera Sacha Sauda Chief on Friday. This after the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo moto cognizance of an anonymous letter alleging rape by the self-styled Godman, which was addressed to the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
This is not the first time that such allegations have been leveled on spiritual leaders. In a country, where religion and spiritualism are deeply followed by several, self-styled Godmen in many cases have taken advantage of blind faith and unquestioned devotion.
Ahead of the High Court's verdict in Gumeet Ram Rahim's case, here are the other religious leaders who have been accused of sexual assault and other criminal activities:
Asaram Bapu: In 2013 a 16-year-old girl accused the self-styled Godman of raping her in his ashram in Jodhpur. The girl's parents had lodged a complaint with Delhi police. After Asaram denied showing up for interrogations, he was booked by the police on charges of wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, and rape.
He was also accused by another woman for rape in 2013.
Chandraswami: Accused of repeated financial irregularities he was arrested in 1996 on charges of fraud worth $100000. Besides facing regular charges for violating the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, he was also allegedly involved in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
Sant Rampal: In 2014, Rampal, who posed as the successor of Kabir, was arrested along with his followers on charges of sedition, murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, hoarding illegal weapons and aiding and abetting suicide-mongers when the bodies of five women and an 18-year-old was found inside his Satlok ashram in Hisar.
Swami Sadachari: The once influential 'Godman' who was known closely associated with those in power was arrested for running a brothel.
Shiv Murat Dwivedi: Better known as Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand was arrested in 1997 for running a prostitution racket. He was released on bail only to be arrested again 2010 for running a multi-crore sex racket.
Swami Premananda: An immensely popular self-styled Godman who had ashrams all over the world, was arrested and fined on charges of rape. He was sentenced to life in imprison for 13 rapes, along with molestations and murder.
Gyanachaitanya: Having spent 14 years in jail after being convicted in three murder cases, Gyanachaitanya after his release sexually tortured and assaulted a British woman who he claimed was his wife in the previous birth, he was arrested again by the police after the woman escaped.
Swami Amrita Chaitanya: The Indian Godman's real name is Santosh Madhavan, he was accused of pedophilia and producing pornographic films of underage girls, he was sentenced to 16 years in jail for molesting minor girls.
Jayendra Saraswathi: The 69th Shankaracharya Guru of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham was accused of ordering a murderous assault on a temple auditor who questioned the disappearance of 83 kg gold meant for Kamakshi Temple, in 2002.
In 2004, he was accused of murdering a temple manager and former devotee of the Kanchi Mutth.
With so many cases against these self-styled 'Godmen', it's time people question their wrongdoings.