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ED, IT to look into Dera assets: HC

Chandigarh, Sep 27 (IANS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (IT) Department would look into the funds and properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect to see if there was any violation of the law.

The observation was made by the high court while hearing a public interest litigation regarding the sect and its activities.

The high court had earlier directed the Haryana and Punjab governments to assess the damage done and losses caused due to the violence in the aftermath of the conviction of sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on two counts of rape by a CBI court in Panchkula on August 25.

A total of 38 people were killed and 264 injured in the violence that followed the rapist self-styled godman’s conviction.

The court had said that the damage would be recovered from the assets of the Dera.

The high court had earlier this month ordered search and sanitization of the 700-acre sprawling campus of the sect near Sirsa town in Haryana. The court commissioner, who carried out the search operation along with Haryana Police, para-military forces and district authorities, will submit his report to the high court soon.

The high court bench that that the report would be forwarded to the central government, Haryana government and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The ED and IT departments will look at the funds and properties of the sect to see if there is any violation of the Income Tax Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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