Tribune News Service
Bathinda, February 8. The court of Additional Sessions Judge BS Johal today ordered the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, to appear in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bathinda, on February 22.
On May 13, 2007, a local resident, Rajinder Singh Sidhu, had lodged a complaint against the dera chief for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community by trying to imitate Guru Gobind Singh.
The complainant had alleged that the dera chief had worn a robe similar to that associated with the Tenth Sikh Guru at a function in Salabatpura dera in Bathinda.
A case was registered under Section 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious act to outrage religious feelings by insulting any religion) of the IPC.
At today’s hearing, the court dismissed the revision petition filed against the summon orders (seeking personal appearance) by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s counsel SK Garg and Kewal Brar.
The complainant’s counsel, J S Khattar, said the directions were significant even if these had been passed after more than five years of the legal battle. Sikh religious leaders, including Panch Pardhani vice-president Baba Hardeep Singh, Jaspal Singh Manjpur, Manjit Singh Dhelwan, Dharam Singh Harraipur, Surinder Singh Nathana and Kulwant Singh Rori, were present during the hearing. Baba Hardeep Singh said, “We have faith in the judiciary.” He demanded that other cases against the dera head also be taken up in fast-track courts.