Rape victims put Dera chief on pedestal, he committed breach of gravest nature: Judge
Refusing any leniency to self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Monday the CBI court said victims revered Dera chief on the pedestal of God but he committed breach of the gravest nature.
The court awarded 10 years of sentence each for the rape of two "gullible and blind followers" by making it clear that both the punishment will run consequently against the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda.
While observing that a man who has neither any concern for humanity nor has any mercy in his nature does not deserve leniency, the CBI court said such a criminal act by one who is stated to be heading a religious organisation is bound to shatter images of pious and sacred spiritual social cultural and religious institutions existing in the country since time immemorial.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 15 lakh each against the Dera chief in both the cases and said that both the victims would get Rs 14 lakh each as compensation.
"Having due regard to the peculiar fact and circumstances of the case, the court is of the view that if acts of the convict in sexually exploiting his own female disciples and intimidating them of dire consequences is taken note of, then such kind of persons do not deserve any kind of leniency from the court," special judge Jagdeep Singhsaid in his 9- page sentence order.
During the arguments, CBI's advocate told the court that the Dera chief had committed sexual assault on the victims who used to treat him as a father and used to worship him as God and the convict had shattered the faith and exploited both the victims physically and psychologically.
He also said that victims were staying in the premises of Dera under the custody of the convict and his act is no less than "custodial rape", the advocate said.
He said that Dera chief had projected himself as godman and took undue advantage of his position and committed rape on innocent girls.
"This is not an ordinary case but rarest of rare case which has larger implications for the entire society and accordingly the convict deserves maximum punishment," the counsel said.
He added that instances of rape by the convict by taking benefit of his privileged position and threatening the victims with dire consequences were some of the aggravating factors that must be taken into account while sentencing him.
The advocate for the Dera chief had sought leniency while submitting that Singh was 50 years old and suffering from hyper-tension, acute diabetes and sever back ache problem for last eight years.
He also sought leniency on the ground that his client was into welfare works and there are so many schools and colleges which are being run by the trust under his motivation and thousands of people are employed in various institutions of the trust.