Rohtak: Describing Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh as a “wild beast”, the CBI court on Monday said that rapists such as him “do not deserve any sympathy” as the judge handed down a 20-year jail term for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.
Special judge Jagdeep Singh said that Singh, disguising as a religious guru, has caused irreparable damage to the "heritage of the ancient land" and that he must get a deterrent punishment.
"When the convict did not even spare his own pious disciples and acted like wild beast, he does not deserve any mercy," said the judge.
Singh, the court said, does not have any concerns for the humanity, nor does he have any mercy in his nature, which was reflected through his ravishing acts. Such a convict, the judge said, should not expect any leniency from the court in the matter of punishment.
While directing that 10 years jail term in two cases of rape of the disciples will run “consecutively” and not concurrently, the court took note of the “peculiar” circumstances as Singh was exploiting his women disciples and kept threatening them too.
“Both the victims put him on the pedestal of God and revered him like that only. But the convict committed breach of gravest nature by sexually assaulting such gullible and blind followers,” it said.
The judge further commented upon Singh's criminal acts as a self-styled godman.
“Such criminal acts of the convict, who is stated to head a religious organisation known as Dera Sacha Sauda, having its headquarter at Sirsa, are bound to shatter images of pious and sacred, spiritual, social, cultural and religious institutions existing in this country since time immemorial, which in turn reflects irreparable damages caused by the acts of convict to the ancient heritage of this ancient land,” he emphasised.
The judge quoted from various Supreme Court judgments to state how a rape is not merely a physical assault but that it is destructive of the whole personality of the victim, thereby requiring the court to impose adequate sentence to a convict “for protection of the society and a legitimate response to the collective conscience.”
While awarding a compensation of Rs 14 lakh each to the two victims for their rehabilitation and Rs 2 lakh to the state, the court took note of Singh's own statements earlier that he needed to travel abroad for shooting his films in which he had invested millions of rupees.
“These facts clearly establish that the convict has no dearth of wealth and (he) is a man with enough financial resources to compensate the victims of his criminal acts,” held the judge.