The article “Ten reasons why criminals in khaki get away” (Dec. 26) and the suggestions made in them to make the police more accountable are timely and well thought-out. Our laws are archaic and loaded in favour of those in authority. Officials wielding power get away not only with minor transgressions but also serious crimes.
If the judge did not hand down the maximum sentence to the former Haryana DGP, S.P.S. Rathore — for molesting a 14-year-old girl who later committed suicide — in view of his age, surely something is seriously wrong with our justice system. The accused hardly looks weak or fragile. The media spotlight on the case will not last forever. The law must be changed and the perpetrators of crime made to pay for their criminal acts.
That it took 19 years for the harassed family of the young girl to get a verdict in the case is shocking. It was the victim’s family members, not Rathore, who underwent punishment all these years in the hands of the law. False cases were foisted on the girl’s brother and the police officer continued to enjoy power.
V. Nisha Lekshmi,
The article has exposed the rot that has crept into our law-enforcing machinery and the criminal justice system. Rathore deserves far more severe punishment compared to an ordinary citizen who commits an equivalent crime, since he abused his position and trust as a guardian of the law. For 19 years, he enjoyed privileges in the form of political support and promotion in his career and, finally, walked away with a lenient sentence.
Let us hope that the suicide by the unfortunate minor victim shames the government into revamping the laws relating to sexual offences, especially against children.
Sunil P. Shenoy,
All those who abetted the suicide of the young girl and harassed her family for 19 years should be identified and exposed. Their pay or pension should be reduced to half and the money saved given to the victim’s family.
Commodore Satpal Sharma (retd.),
The point that criminal charges against law-enforcement personnel should be fast-tracked as a matter of routine is significant. It is important to find out who recommended Rathore for the President’s police medal for distinguished service. It will expose the shady characters in the bureaucracy.
But who will take the responsibility of stemming the rot? We show a lot of concern over an issue till it is in the limelight. We then forget it and take such happenings in our stride and the systemic rot continues to grow. It is time we realised that such trends will ultimately harm democracy.
No words of comfort or increase in the punishment to Rathore will help to reduce the pain caused to the girl’s family for 19 years. But if the system is reformed, we can ensure that such crimes against children and women are minimised.
A. Varnika Harini,
It is our task to ensure that young girls do not meet the fate of the 14-year-old who was molested by the senior police official and who later ended her life. Society should boycott all those who were instrumental in obstructing the progress of the case. The school which expelled the young girl must be asked to explain its action. Those who shielded the guilty and slapped false cases on her family should be booked.
Though money is no substitute for the life lost and two decades of mental torture, a monetary compensation to the family can send the right message. And all the friends who stood by the girl and pursued the case against Rathore should be decorated on Republic Day.
What happened to the young victim and her family is routine in India. It is to be expected in cases in which a lay person accuses a high-ranking official enjoying political patronage. More than Rathore, it is those who helped him who are more culpable. The fact that people with known criminal records get elected time and again shows how hollow our democracy is. Indians have learnt how to carry on with life despite such a system.
O.P. Chautala’s flip-flop and Bhajan Lal’s denials notwithstanding, it is of the utmost importance that all those who thwarted the course of justice for 19 years are made accountable for their acts of omission and commission. The Hooda government’s credibility will go up if this is done.