Why State of Haryana has not filed reply to bail applications? asked the judge
Rejecting the anticipatory bail plea by the former Haryana Director-General of Police, S.P.S. Rathore, in connection with two first information reports registered against him in the case of molestation of a budding tennis player, Additional District and Sessions judge Sanjiv Jindal on Friday said his offences cast a “spine-chilling and hair-raising impact on one's psyche.
”The court said Rathore and co-accused ASI Sewa Singh were not entitled to anticipatory bail, especially when specific allegations were levelled in both FIRs. The judge upheld the contentions raised by Pankaj Bhardwaj, complainant's lawyer, that “since the criminal conspiracies were not hatched sitting in drawing rooms in the presence of the witnesses, the same can be unearthed only through the custodial interrogation of the accused.”
The court said the alleged offences “not only prick the conscience of a common man but also cast a spine-chilling and hair-raising impact on one's psyche relating to the alleged inhuman torture meted out to the complainants [the molestation victim's father and brother] at the behest of the applicant-accused.”
The judge said: “Even otherwise, keeping in view the fact that the applicant accused, being an IPS officer, had held high official positions throughout his service, including DGP, and had a considerable political clout, the possibility of [his] tampering with evidence and intimidating the witnesses directly or indirectly cannot be ruled out, as could be inferred from the previous conduct of the accused which again makes the applicant-accused not worthy of the concession of anticipatory bail.”
The court took serious notice of the conduct of the State of Haryana in not filing a reply to the present bail applications and in seeking adjournment for up to three weeks for doing so.
“The delay gives a clear-cut impression that the law officers and police officers of the State are either incompetent or are intentionally dilly-dallying [in] the matter under the buckling double pressure i.e. one exhorted by the applicant-accused, who had been stated to be a mighty police officer having political clout, and secondly under media pressure.”
“Moreover, in view of the specific allegations levelled in both FIRs, it was the burden and legal duty of the State to oppose both bail applications tooth and nail, thereby seeking custodial interrogation of the applicant-accused, instead of seeking time for filing the reply,” the judge noted.
The order said the lawyers and police officers were “oblivious or incompetent,” not bothering to include Section 466 (relating to injury involving economic loss and harm caused to any person in body, mind, reputation etc.) of the IPC in both FIRs.”
Instead, they registered both FIRs under the provision of 467 (relating to forgery of a document relating to monetary transaction, valuable security and wills, etc.)
“Thus the conduct in this respect becomes deplorable and as such, is hereby condemned by the court in the strongest possible terms,” the judge observed.Addressing the role of media in the case, the court said: “Sometimes the media does overstep its limits and becomes pro-active in highlighting the things … Still as the fourth pillar of the democracy, the role and importance of the media cannot be denied or undermined, and further in certain other cases, the media has come to the forefront to aid and help the most deprived and down-trodden segments of society in a bid to save/protect them from the atrocities and high-handedness of the system of the country and in order to secure justice for them.”
The judge also observed that “the judicial system of this country and the courts of law established thereunder in the past have not been swayed by media hype, nor would they be swayed in future by any media consideration.”
The courts “have been and would keep discharging their duties in accordance with law strictly on the merits of each and every case.”While rejecting the bail plea of Sewa Singh, the judge said there was every likelihood of the accused, being a police official, tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses.