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Haryana govt justifies parole for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, says he is not 'hardcore prisoner'

The dera chief, who is serving a 20-year jail term for raping two disciples, was granted 40-day parole on January 20
Last Updated : 01 March 2023, 14:19 IST

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The Haryana government has justified the parole granted to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, saying he does not fall under the definition of a “hardcore prisoner” and cannot be termed a serial killer.

The dera chief, who is serving a 20-year jail term for raping two disciples, was granted 40-day parole on January 20. He has also been convicted in two murder cases.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) recently challenged the parole order in Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In its reply through the superintendent of the Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail, where the Sirsa-based sect chief is serving out his sentence, the state government said no illegality was committed by granting parole.

According to the state government submission, the petitioner projected before the court that after having been convicted in two murder cases, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is now covered under the definition of a “convicted hardcore prisoner” under section 2(1)(g) of the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 2022.

The SGPC also argued that his conviction in two murder cases amounted to “serial killings” under that Act.

The dera chief and four others were convicted in 2021 for hatching a conspiracy to kill Ranjit Singh, a dera manager. In 2019, he and three others were convicted for the murder of a journalist 16 years ago.

The state government rejected the SGPC argument.

His conviction in two different murder cases cannot be termed “serial killings” as he was not an assailant and had not executed the actual murders, it said.

The contention is “factually incorrect and without any basis”, the government said.

"He has been held guilty for hatching criminal conspiracies with the co-accused for these killings. He has been punished under section 302 IPC only with the aid of section 120-B,” it said referring to the “independent section” relating to criminal conspiracy.

The charges under this section are framed independently and in case of conviction, the sentencing of this section is to be read with the actual offence committed,” it submitted.

The government said the dera chief has already been on parole and furlough on three different occasions as granted by the competent authority under the provisions of the Act, and during his temporary release no untoward incident took place.

About 1,000 convicts from jails in the state have already availed the benefit of temporary release on parole and furlough under the Haryana Act, the government said.

The main purpose of the provision is to give convicts a chance to solve their personal and family problems, and maintain links with society, it said.

It described parole and furlough a “rehabilitation tool”.

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Published 01 March 2023, 13:41 IST

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