8 Oct 2021 6:16 AM GMT
Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been convicted by CBI Court today in the Ranjit Singh murder case. Special CBI Court judge Sushil Garg pronounced him and others guilty and now, he would be heard on October 12 on the point of quantum of punishment.Gurmeet Ram Rahim is already serving sentence for the offence of rape, and now, he has been convicted of the murder of his...
Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been convicted by CBI Court today in the Ranjit Singh murder case. Special CBI Court judge Sushil Garg pronounced him and others guilty and now, he would be heard on October 12 on the point of quantum of punishment.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim is already serving sentence for the offence of rape, and now, he has been convicted of the murder of his disciple, Ranjeet Singh. Along with him, 4 others have also been convicted on murder charges.
Significantly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had, on Tuesday dismissed a plea filed by the son of Ranjit Singh seeking transfer of the murder trial against Ram Rahim Singh pending before the special CBI judge, Panchkula.
Punjab & Haryana High Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Transfer Of Murder Case Against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Essentially, the son of the deceased Ranjeet Singh (murdered by Ram Rahim Singh) had sought the transfer of the case to another CBI court in Punjab, Haryana, or Chandigarh on the ground that the presiding judge conducting the trial was unduly influenced by the accused through a public prosecutor of CBI.
However, dismissing his plea, the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan had opined that the apprehensions of the petitioner weren't reasonable, but were based upon surmises and conjectures.
The dismissal of the plea had paved way for the CBI court to pronounce the verdict which was earlier stayed by the High Court as it had restrained the special CBI judge, Panchkula from pronouncing the verdict on August 26.
The Special CBI judge Panchkula, Sushil Kumar Garg, was set to pronounce verdict on August 26, however, the Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan had restrained the Court from doing so.
Importantly, while dismissing the transfer plea and noting that the trial of the matter is at the stage of pronouncement of judgment, the Court observed thus:
"The petitioner in garb of transfer petition cannot be permitted to have bench of his choice or to get result of trial as per his wishes. With the advancement of technology and activism of social media, the allegation leveled by such litigants needs to be scrutinized very carefully. On asking of apprehensive litigant, transfer of trial at fag end would result in browbeating the Judge and interference in fair administration of justice."
The plea before the Court
Jagseer Singh, the son of late Ranjeet Singh had alleged in his plea that the presiding judge conducting the trial was unduly influenced by the accused through respondent No. 2 (public prosecutor of CBI).
He also alleged that though the prosecutor was not directly linked to the case, however, he was found to be interfering with the trial and was taking undue interest and wields undue influence on the presiding officer.
The Court opined that High Court's power under Section 407(1) Cr.P.C. to transfer the trial from the subordinate criminal court can be exercised if the fair or impartial trial is not possible, however, the Court added, it is clear that on mere apprehension trial cannot be transferred.
Further, stressing that there cannot be a straight-jacketed formula for transfer of trial, the Court reiterated that the apprehension must be reasonable and not imaginary and that the power of transfer is to be sparingly exercised.
Regarding the allegations of the presence of the public prosecutor (not related to the instant case) during the trial, the Court noted that the same was duly explained in the pleadings by the CBI.
The Court was of the view that since he is a regular Public Prosecutor in CBI Court at Panchkula and also because the Senior Public Prosecutor and a Special Public Prosecutor have been specifically appointed to represent CBI in this case, therefore, the Court noted that being a designated Public Prosecutor in the court, his presence is obvious and being regular in Court, he can lend assistance to his colleagues.