New Delhi: To shield himself from rape charges, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had claimed he was "impotent since 1990".
The charges in two rape cases pertained to August and September 1999. In the CBI court, Singh took a defence during trial that he was incapable of performing sexual intercourse since 1990 and therefore, there was no question of raping the two Sadhvis in 1999.
Recording his statement before CBI judge Jagdeep Kumar, Singh had said that "since 1990, the accused is not medically fit to do sex with anyone", and that he was not potent.
Singh said that the rape charges were to be dropped alone on this ground since his claim regarding impotency has not been rebutted by the prosecution. The investigating officer, his lawyers said, never examined Singh for virility and hence, he must get the benefit of the presumption of innocence.
But a statement made by one of his own witnesses punctured Singh's assertion.
The judge said Singh's claim is devoid of any merit in view of a statement made by one of his own witnesses, who said the Dera Sacha Sauda chief had two daughters.
One of the hostel wardens had said that Singh's two daughters were staying in the Dera hostel in 1999 and the CBI judge held that given this fact, the claim regarding impotency falls flat.
"This very fact speaks volumes about virility of the accused... at least two daughters have born out of loin of the accused," said the judge, rejecting Singh's defence.
Singh was handed down 20 years in jail -- 10 years each in two rape cases -- to be served consecutively.
Describing Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh as a “wild beast”, the CBI court had on Monday said that rapists such as him “do not deserve any sympathy”.
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," the judge said.
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.