Bench takes into consideration closure reports filed by CBI in fresh cases against him
Taking into consideration the closure reports filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in fresh cases registered against the former Haryana Director-General of Police, S.P.S. Rathore, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered his release on bail in the molestation case in which he was convicted to undergo 18 months imprisonment.
Initially the trial court convicted and sentenced him to six months rigorous imprisonment in the case of molestation of a budding tennis star who was a minor. Both Mr. Rathore and the State filed an appeal before the Sessions Court, which enhanced the sentence to 18 months imprisonment and on revision the Punjab and Haryana High Court confirmed the sentence. Mr. Rathore filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against this judgment.
A Bench consisting of Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan took into consideration the submission made by Additional Solicitor-General Harin Raval, appearing for the CBI, that closure reports were filed on Wednesday before the trial court in two fresh cases relating to doctoring of post-mortem report and torture and closure report was to be filed in the third case of abetment to suicide of the victim after taking instructions from the High Court.
The Bench said that apart from the factual position, “it is not in dispute that the petitioner had served more than six months out of the enhanced sentence of one year and six months. Taking note of all these aspects and in view of the information furnished by the CBI we feel that the petitioner deserves to be released on bail. Accordingly, the petitioner is ordered to be released on bail subject to the condition that he shall not leave the country without specific permission of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandigarh.”
“It is brought to our notice that the petitioner's passport has already been surrendered and it stands deposited before the Additional Sessions Judge, Chandigarh,” the Bench said and recorded this statement.
Earlier, when senior counsel Uday Lalit, appearing for the petitioner, pleaded for bail pointing out the closure reports filed by the CBI, counsel for the victim's family Vikas Mehta submitted that Mr. Rathore was an influential person who had got 12 cases registered against the family. The fact that the CBI had filed closure reports in the two cases would show his influence, he said.
Justice Sathasivam told the counsel that when even a life convict could move the court for bail after serving five-year sentence, the petitioner could be granted bail since he had already served one third of the sentence.