No relief to Dera chief as HC dismisses parole plea

No relief to Dera chief as HC dismisses parole plea

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (AFP Photo)

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday dismissed as withdrawn a parole plea filed by the wife of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak for raping two of his disciples.

Harjit Kaur had filed the plea seeking the Dera chief's release on parole for three weeks to look after his ailing mother Naseeb Kaur (83). 

On August 9, it was found invalid and was rejected by Sunaria Jail Superintendent Sunil Sangwan on the basis of a report of the Sirsa deputy commissioner, who took into account the security considerations and the opinion of the board of doctors who examined his mother.

Aggrieved that the plea was not found valid by the jail superintendent, Harjit Kaur approached the high court.

A counsel of the Dera chief said the high court judge, Justice Rajiv Narain Raina, on Tuesday "dismissed as withdrawn at this stage" the parole plea, allowing the petitioner the liberty to file a petition again in case the opinion of medical experts was that Naseeb Kaur was critically ill.

The counsel said that the court has made it clear that "the withdrawal of the case today would not be an impediment in consideration of request in accordance with the law".

Harjit Kaur had on August 5 filed a plea in the Punjab and Haryana high court, seeking three-week parole on the grounds that Ram Rahim's mother was scheduled to undergo treatment for a heart-related ailment and she wanted her son to remain present during her treatment.

The high court then directed the jail authorities to take a decision on it within five days.

The high court had directed the respondents that if the jail superintendent was satisfied that the Dera chief's case was covered under the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners Temporary Release Act, then he could decide on the plea within the time frame fixed by the Jail Department or could forward the case to authorities after recording reasons, if dissatisfied with the plea.

Sirsa Civil Surgeon Govind Gupta examined the Dera chief's mother and the Sirsa district administration sent her medical report to Jail Superintendent Sunil Sangwan earlier this month.

Rohtak Division Commissioner Pankaj Yadav then said the jail superintendent did not find any valid ground for the parole plea.

In June, the Dera Sacha Sauda chief had applied for 42-day parole for farming in his fields in Sirsa. Later, he withdrew the application.

Ram Rahim Singh was convicted in two rape cases by a Panchkula court in August 2017.

In January, a special CBI court in Panchkula sentenced him and three others to life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist over 16 years ago.

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