Former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore has "no remorse for the wrong committed by him," the Additional District and Sessions Judge noted while enhancing his prison term to 18 months for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra.
In his 103-page judgement yesterday, ADSJ Gurbir Singh also observed that "every witness of this case had to face allegations in one form or the other and attempt was made to catch the witness in a well woven legal web".
The legal battle was between two unequals, the Judge observed dismissing the appeal filed by 68-year-old Rathore challenging the six month rigorous imprisonment after he was convicted in the molestation of the 14-year-old budding tennis player.
"Although convict deserves maximum punishment which is prescribed for offence under Section 354 IPC but keeping in view the age of the convict, his medical background, his dependent unmarried daughter who is suffering from congenital heart problem, his meritorious service record and the fact that convict spent more than 200 dates in the court during trial of the case, I am of the view that purpose of law would be met if convict is awarded sentence of rigorous imprisonment for 1½ years. Otherwise, face of the public in justice delivery system/judiciary would erode," the Judge said.
The court held that allegations are of moral turpitude and such allegations are serious in nature pertaining to the circumstances when the victim was minor. "Liberal view cannot be taken, prolonged trial and age of the convict can be considered while passing the order on quantum of sentence," the court had said.
"There is no dispute that Ruchika committed suicide. A precious life is lost. Thereafter departmental enquiry initiated against the convict on the basis of inquiry report of DGP R.R. Singh were dropped. The convict got promotions and retired as DGP of Haryana," the Judge noted.
Observing that as police officer Rathore's role was to protect the public and as President of Haryana Lawn Tennis Association to train young budding players for India, the court said the Rathore failed in both duties by molesting a minor girl.
The court said people are afraid to send their minor girls to play grounds due to presence of such persons in the sports field. "Due to activities of such persons, our nation is lagging behind in every sport and citizens of country" feel ashamed after knowing that India has lost again, it said.
"As long as such persons are at the helm of affairs of sports associations, the presence of women in sports activities cannot be increased and real talent cannot be brought forward to represent the country in various sports. Justice should not only be done but it appears to have been done," the Judge said.