Seven applications have been filed at the special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Panchkula, seeking further investigation and a stay on the ongoing trials in the two murder cases against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Hindustan Times on Monday.
Delhi-based lawyer Bankim Kulshreshtha filed these applications on behalf of Krishan Lal, who is the main accused along with Singh in the murders of Dera member Ranjit Singh and Sirsa journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati in 2002. The court has sought a response from the CBI on these applications, and listed them for hearing on September 22.
Till now the CBI has recorded the statements of 59 witnesses. The agency read those out in the court on Monday, The Tribune reported. The special court has told Investigation Officer Armandeep Singh to appear before it on Tuesday. He is the only witness whose statement has not yet been recorded. The CBI has accused Ram Rahim of ordering the murder of the two journalists for trying to expose him and the Dera’s activities.
Ram Rahim has been appearing before the court via video-conferencing from Rohtak jail, where he has been lodged since the same court sentenced him to 20 years on August 28 for raping two women.
The court is hearing the final arguments in the cases now. It is currently hearing Ranjit Singh’s case, and will take up Chhatrapati’s case on September 22.
It will also decide if it should record the statements of Khatta Singh, the Dera chief’s former driver and a witness in the murder cases on that day. Khatta Singh, had recorded his first statement in 2007, retracted it in 2012 because he feared his life was in danger. His lawyer said he he has decided to appear before the court and give his statement as the circumstances have changed. “I was scared that they would kill me and my son, we were threatened,” Khatta Singh said, according to ANI.