D-Day For Ram Rahim: What Next For The Godman & Dera Sacha Sauda?

It took 15 years, but the law finally caught up with the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. 

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38 people have been killed so far in the violence and arson that erupted after Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted in a fifteen-year-old rape case. A special CBI judge will pronounce the sentence against Ram Rahim on Monday afternoon at Rohtak’s Sunaria jail.

The godman – or prisoner number 1997 at the Rohtak jail – has been kept in solitary confinement in a cell big enough for 12 prisoners.

Here’s a look at the possible ramifications of the conviction on Ram Rahim himself as well as his organisation - the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS).

Catch all the live updates on the Ram Rahim sentencing here.


What Will Impact The Quantum of Punishment?

The minimum punishment for rape under Indian law is seven years, unless it fulfils certain special criteria, such as if the victim is under 16 years at the time of the incident or if the perpetrator was in a position of trust (parent, religious leader). In such circumstances, the minimum punishment is 10 years rigorous imprisonment, which can extend to life imprisonment.


What Next for Gurmeet Ram Rahim?

Meanwhile, Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s lawyers are likely to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court to appeal against the godman’s conviction. The earliest an appeal could have been filed was 26 August morning. It will be interesting to see if the High Court allows Gurmeet Ram Rahim to walk out on bail in the interim.


What Happens to The Dera Sacha Sauda?

The Dera Sacha Sauda has been around since 1948 and is a registered NGO – a trust, and not Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s own property.

In that sense, the day-to-day administration of the sect will not be affected by the godman’s arrest.

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