Law Too Kind To Sexual Offenders

Posted on December 22, 2009 in Politics, Society, The Opinionated, YKA Editorials

Anshul Tewari:

I was burning out of anger and hatred when I saw former Haryana DGP S.P.S Rathore walking out of the court with a smile on his face. Rathore, who was convicted with molesting a 14 year old girl received only 6 months of jail as his sentence for the draconian crime he committed.

Ruchika, who was only 14 when she was subject to this heinous treatment, committed a suicide soon after the incident. Her best friend’s father, Anand Parkash kept knocking on the doors of justice and S.P.S Rathore, who was inspector general of police when he molested 14-year-old Ruchika, rose to become the topmost police officer in Haryana.

I feel ashamed at hearing this. This is the law of our country. I remember, earlier a few years ago, a rape convict was sentenced to death penalty for molesting a minor. He was a security guard and thus was hanged. But here, Mr. S.P.S receives only 6 months of jail. This is not only a failure on part of the judiciary but also a victory on part of S.P.S and all those who think they can turn and twist the law which ever way they want.

This is not what I say. This is evident from the treatment Mr. Anand Prakash had to go through. “I was demoted on flimsy grounds while the accused, S.P.S. Rathore, was awarded with two promotions – one as ADGP (additional director general of police) and the other as DGP,” said Parkash (67), a former government official.

It was Parkash and his wife Madhu who followed up the case when Ruchika’s father and brother, who were allegedly harassed by the police, had given up and left the city.

Ruchika’s brother Ashu was booked in about a dozen cases of theft. He was also kept in illegal confinement and allegedly beaten up by the police.

The matter came up in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday with CPI-M’s Brinda Karat saying: “The criminal… escaped justice for 19 years, was awarded promotion after promotion, while the young girl was traumatized.”

I&B Minister Ambika Soni said: “When custodians of law come under the needle of suspicion, they shouldn’t be promoted.” Rathore, who was IG at the time of the incident, was made ADG and then DGP.

Legal experts blamed the police for lapses but ruled out any major corrective measures.

Supreme Court lawyer K.T.S. Tulsi said the prosecution was negligent. “Rathore’s bail should have been cancelled and he should have been tried for misuse of official authority. The punishment, however, is proportionate to the offence. We cannot ask for blood.”

Very well judiciary. This is surely justice delivered, but after 19 years and a sentence which would make anyone feel ashamed. Rathore (67) was awarded a lighter sentence due to the “prolonged trial” and his age, the Press Trust of India reported. The crime for which he was convicted comes with a maximum punishment of up to two years.

The CBI said it hadn’t decided if it would appeal against the decision. “We will review the judgment and decide,” said an official based in Chandigarh.

It gives me the highest degree of shame and angst yet again to read and watch this news. This is the judiciary, which gives the convict of a serious crime a sentence of 6 months in jail and Rs. 1000 fine.

I ask everyone, is this the price that a person has to pay for molesting a girl and harassing her family, forcing her to commit suicide?

This is just a motivation to sexual offenders who have a strong judicial and political backing. There must be an appeal against this decision.

The sentence by the Chandigarh court was “too little and too late.” It’s high time we reviewed our laws, the law makers and the protectors of the law.

I request you to please support the fight against injustice against women.

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