A special CBI court in Panchkula on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for the murder of former Dera manager Ranjit Singh in 2002.

The sect chief has been in jail since his conviction in 2017 for raping two disciples.

The special court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others -- Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil -- for the murder, CBI special prosecutor H P S Verma said over phone.

He said the quantum of the sentence will be pronounced on October 12.

One more accused in the murder case had passed away a year ago.

Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed a petition seeking the transfer of the Ranjit Singh murder case from the special CBI court in Panchkula to any other special CBI court in Punjab, Haryana or Chandigarh.

Former Dera manager Ranjit Singh, who was also a follower of the sect, was shot dead in 2002. He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of an anonymous letter, which narrated how women were being sexually exploited by the sect head at the Dera headquarters.

According to the CBI charge sheet, the Dera chief believed that Ranjit Singh was behind the circulation of the anonymous letter and hatched a conspiracy to kill him.

In 2017, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to 20-year imprisonment for raping two disciples. He is currently lodged in Rohtak's Sunaria jail.

Over two years back, the sect head was also awarded life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati.