The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday filed an appeal in the District and Sessions Court seeking enhancement of the sentence of the former Haryana Police chief, S.P.S. Rathore, to two years in the 1990 molestation case.
The CBI claimed that Rathore did not act on the spur of the moment and the molestation was predetermined. He, therefore, deserved the maximum punishment. “After the submission of memorandum by the victim, the respondent [Rathore] unleashed a reign of terror on probable witnesses in order to restrain them from pursuing the matter further,” the CBI said in its appeal.
“The sentence awarded to the respondent [Rathore] is grossly inadequate and requires to be enhanced to the maximum extent provided under Section 354 of the IPC. Justice demands that the court impose a punishment befitting the crime. It should act as a deterrent on potential wrong-doers,” it stated. The CBI said on January 13 that it would move the court for enhancing Rathore’s sentence.
On Thursday, it presented a 124-page document, including the appeal, the trial court judgment and a detailed time-sheet about the progress of the trial proceedings from August 21, 1998, when the case was marked to the CBI till December 21, 2009, when the verdict was out.
The copy of the appeal, which was signed by CBI SP, New Delhi, S.P. Klair, mentioned 16 points as major grounds of appeal. Stating that the victim was a minor while Rathore was a high-ranking police officer of Haryana when the ‘ugly incident occurred,’ the appeal said: “It was the duty of the IGP to protect the vulnerable citizen but he himself committed molestation of a minor girl.”
Additional District and Sessions Judge R.S. Attri also issued notice to 68-year-old Rathore on the CBI’s submission and on a revision petition filed by complainant Madhu Parkash with the same plea, the victim’s family’s counsel Pankaj Bhardwaj said.
On December 21, a CBI special court had held Rathore guilty of molesting the budding tennis player in Panchkula town on August 12, 1990.
He was sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs.1,000. Conviction under Section 354 (molestation) of the Indian Penal Code provides for a maximum punishment of two years but Rathore was granted bail immediately after his conviction.