It was RK Sharma’s 23-year-long service as an IPS officer that came to his rescue as the judge decided on the punishment.
Though the court handed down life term to Sharma, which as per a recent Supreme Court ruling is imprisonment for entire life, Additional Sessions Judge RK Shastri said, “To grant a pardon or retrieve the sentence of Sharma is the discretion of the Executive.”
“Considering the distinguished services Sharma was rendering to our country, to dump him in jail till he breathes his last… will be too harsh…. A natural corollary of incarceration in jail is depravation of personal liberty of a person,” said the judge in his order.
Citing Sharma’s stint as an IPS officer, the judge called him “an asset to society”. He expressed his disagreement with the prosecution that called Sharma “a danger to society”. “What to say of blemish record, he earned appreciation during his tenure everywhere. He is one of the most senior police officers in his cadre state (Haryana) and was eligible to hold the highest police post in that state,” the judge said, while noting that Sharma has served as a senior officer with agencies like the United Nations, CBI, Interpol and the Prime Minister’s office.
“This court is bound by law passed by them (Legislature and Executive) and have no option but to award at least the minimum punishment prescribed by law,” said Shastri and wondered whether Sharma deserved “such retributive sentence”.