A special CBI court in Panchkula sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four other convicts to life imprisonment for murdering a sect follower in 2002.
The CBI (prosecution) had sought death penalty against Ram Rahim and four other convicts in the case.
The court of special CBI judge Dr Sushil Kumar Garg on October 8 had held Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil Singh guilty under Sections 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
Further, Sabdil Singh and Jasbir Singh were held guilty under the Arms Act.
The victim was shot dead by four assailants on July 10, 2002, at his native Khanpur Kolian village in Kurukshetra district.
According to the CBI charge sheet, the dera chief had suspected that he was behind the circulation of an anonymous letter, highlighting sexual exploitation of his female followers in the dera.
As per the statement of Khatta Singh (Dera chief’s former driver and prosecution witness) before the court, on June 16, 2002, he had hatched a conspiracy to kill him.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 31 lakh on Ram Rahim, half of which will go to the victim’s family. A fine of Rs 50,000 each levied on remaining convicts.
The victim’s son expressed satisfaction over the verdict in the case.