The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking cancellation of the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s 40-day parole.
The PIL was filed by Advocate H C Arora, who contends that by permitting Ram Rahim during parole to hold satsang, the government has bowed before a rape and murder convict as if he is above law of the land.
The HC, however, has asked the Haryana government to take a decision on the representation submitted by the petitioner to the state against the grant of parole to the Dera chief. On this, the state counsel has given an undertaking before the HC that a decision on the petitioner's representation would be taken within a week.
According to Advocate Arora, the Dera chief conducted online satsang while staying in his UP-based Bhaghpat ashram, and could remain in touch with his misguided followers, who believe that his conviction on charges of rape and murder is divine drama, and treated him as a godman.
The plea added that, "during such online/virtual satsangs, Ram Rahim is resorting to his usual practice and is giving mantras to female followers for getting blessed with the birth of a male child," which as per the plea was a violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954.
It was also stated that while he stayed in this ashram, the Dera chief released a video of his new song, Sadi Nit Diwali, and that by not asking YouTube to take it down, the state government has aided the godman to remain in public memory. “All these activities are resulting into a serious threat to peace in the neighbouring state of Punjab where the people opposed to Ram Rahim are sitting in dharnas outside dera's 'Nam Charcha Ghars'”, the plea has stated.
Arora had earlier moved the High Court through an ordinary writ plea challenging the 40-day parole that was later revised and re-filed as a PIL. The plea also prayed for quashing the provisions in Sections 3 and 12 of the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 2002 – which envisages the facility of the temporary release of a convicted prisoner on regular parole subject to certain conditions.
During the Monday hearing, the State of Haryana submitted that the representation dated 29.10.2022 will be decided within one week. Satisfied with the undertaking by the Haryana government, the petitioner withdrew the PIL.