Explained: When Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted in ex-Dera manager Ranjit Singh murder case

  • Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others have been acquitted by Punjab and Haryana HC in the 2002 murder case of ex-Dera manager Ranjit Singh, overturning the conviction order by a CBI court. What was the case and why did CBI court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim of murder in 2021? An explainer

Written By Chanchal
Updated28 May 2024
In 2021, a CBI court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim in ex-Dera manager Ranjit Singh murder case
In 2021, a CBI court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim in ex-Dera manager Ranjit Singh murder case(HT_PRINT)

Putting aside the conviction order of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday, May 28, acquitted Dera Sacha Sauda chief and four others in the 2002 Ranjit Singh murder case. Ranjit Singh was Dera's former manager who was killed in July 10, 2002.

"The high court has acquitted him and four others in the Ranjit Singh murder case," Dera chief's lawyer Jitender Khurana said. The order on the appeals of Ram Rahim was announced by a division bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Lalit Batra.

Ram Rahim, who is also serving a 20-year jail term for raping two of his disciples, is currently lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak, Haryana.

RANJIT SINGH MURDER CASE: FULL STORY

Ranjit Singh, resident of Village Khanpur Kolian, was a manager of Dera Sacha Sauda and follower of the sect. He was shot dead on July 2002 at Khanpur Kolian village in Haryana's Kurukshetra.

Over a year later on November 10, 2003, the high court ordered a CBI investigation into his murder case.

After an extensive probe into the Ranjit Singh murder case, the CBI court in October 2021 held Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Krishan Lal, Sabdil Singh, Jasbir Singh and Avtar Singh, guilty in the murder of Ranjit Singh.

Jasbir Singh, Sabdil Singh, and Krishan Lal were found guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy under Section 302, while Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Avtar Singh, Jasbir Singh, Sabdil Singh, and Krishan Lal were convicted of criminal conspiracy, murder, and criminal intimidation under Sections 120 b and 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Why was Ranjit Singh murdered? The CBI story:

The CBI court held that Gurmeet Ram Rahim blamed Ranjit Singh for the circulation of a letter that narrated the details of sexual exploitation of his disciples inside the Dera.

The letter mentioned that the Dera chief was sexually assaulting his women followers. Aggrieved by it, Ram Rahim conspired with the other accused to murder Ranjit Singh.

Also Read | Rape convict Ram Rahim Singh granted parole again in less than 2 months. This time for 50 days

Finding them guilty, the CBI court also sentenced the four of them to life imprisonment.

Overruling the CBI court order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court acquitted the four, including Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

In 2017, Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for raping two disciples after which he was lodged in Rohtak's Sunaria jail. The Dera chief and three others were also convicted in 2019 for the murder of a journalist more than 16 years ago.

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