The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by some followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, seeking telecast of his sermons from his prison cell, India Today reported.

Singh is in a Rohtak prison after he was sentenced to 20 years in jail in August 2017 for raping two of his followers in 2002.

Some followers from Bathinda, who call themselves “Malwa Insan Followers Dera Sacha Sauda Sangh”, had filed the petition on Monday. They wanted the court to ask the Haryana government and prison authorities to allow live or recorded telecast of the spiritual leader’s sermons through television or the internet.

In their petition, they invoked Singh’s right to freedom of speech, right to form associations and rights of prisoners, The Indian Express reported. The plea said a regular – weekly, fortnightly or monthly – broadcast of sermons was essential for followers to repose faith in Dera Sacha Sauda. Singh’s message is very important for the society, the plea said.