Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted in a 15-year-old rape case by a special CBI court on Friday. A chronology of the case:
April 2002: Anonymous letter written to Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice complaining about the sexual exploitation of woman followers at Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa.
May 2002: High court directs Sirsa district and sessions judge to probe the allegations in the letter.
September 2002: High court hands matter to CBI after district court indicates possibility of sexual exploitation.
December 2002: CBI registers a case of rape and criminal intimidation against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of the Sirsa headquartered Dera Sacha Sauda.
July 2007: CBI files chargesheet against the Dera head in an Ambala court. The chargesheet refers to the sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ (women followers) between 1999 and 2001.
September 2008: The special CBI court frames charges against Gurmeet under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Between 2009 and 2010: Two complainants record their statements before the court.
April 2011: The special CBI court shifts from Ambala to Panchkula. The case against the Dera chief also transferred to Panchkula CBI court.
July 2017: Special CBI court orders daily hearing
August 17, 2017: Arguments of prosecution and defence
concludes. Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh fixes August 25 as date for pronouncement of verdict. Gurmeet asked to appear in person before the court the same day.
August 25, 2017: The special CBI court convicts Gurmeet.
Quantum of sentencing to be announced on August 28.