The editorial “The rot beyond Rathore” (Dec. 30) has exposed the shortcomings in the manner in which the case of a 14-year-old girl who was molested by the former Haryana DGP, S.P.S. Rathore, and who committed suicide later was conducted. Had the CBI been more systematic, justice in the young victim’s case could have been brought to its logical conclusion long ago.
Looking at the manner in which the former brass of the Haryana police dragged the case and subverted the course of justice, one can understand the clout Rathore wielded. But for the media, untiring and dedicated lawyers, rights activists, friends and relatives of the victim and, above all, the family which withstood 19 years of trauma, humiliation, and intimidation, the case would not have been revisited.
The nexus among politicians, police and the babus is the foremost cause of lawlessness. That the young girl’s family still had faith in the system and carried on with the fight despite harassment is commendable.
It is possible only for elected representatives to remedy the situation. They should first weed out politicians with criminal records. It is time to reform the police force too. A police commission — on the lines of the Election Commission — will help. If the powers of appointing, promoting and transferring police officers are taken away from political leaders and the bureaucracy, half the battle will be won. It is for the media to win the other half of the battle.
Col. Ram Gulrajani (retd.),
The belief that India is a democratic country where all people can get justice is disproved every now and then, thanks to individuals like Rathore. The former DGP manipulated the criminal justice system to his advantage and got a light sentence. That two new FIRs have been filed against him is welcome.
Rathore’s case clearly shows how the influential can hoodwink the criminal justice system. The CBI, too, is lenient in probing the cases against influential sections. I am sure there are many instances of harassment of the innocent by bureaucrats and police but they go unreported. “All are equal in the eyes of law” is just a fascinating sentence in law books.
The practice of bureaucrats using their positions to beat the system has spoilt the country’s social fabric. The victim is at the losing end as the perpetrator of the crime can easily manipulate the system. The editorial rightly referred to the Shopian case in which the CBI filed criminal charges against those who sought to incriminate the security forces.
Rathore committed a series of crimes. Not only did he molest a young girl but also continued to enjoy political backing and immunity from the law. He was given a medal for meritorious service and promoted despite a criminal case pending against him. He was instrumental in throwing the girl out of school and filing false cases against her brother.
The CBI, too, did not charge him with abetting suicide. All his men who helped him in his wrong moves should be identified. As the editorial rightly says, those who helped Rathore all these years must also get their due.
Rathore has become a disgrace and cast a permanent scar on the face of the ruling elite. He is, unfortunately, not the first to do so. Countless numbers of politicians, bureaucrats, and other elites have defamed august institutions by committing gruesome acts.
It is perhaps necessary to make punishment more draconian, to instil fear in the minds of the perpetrators of crime.
The editorial has rightly emphasised the need to reopen the cases against Rathore, whose harassment resulted in the death of the young girl and harassment of her family. It is absolutely necessary that the case against him is filed under Section 306 IPC and similar action taken against all politicians, bureaucrats and policemen who helped him suppress the truth for 19 years.
C. Lakshmi Narain,
When people in power and authority commit heinous crimes, they are promptly shielded by their conspiring colleagues. When someone blows the whistle, these power-intoxicated people either slap false cases on him or eliminate him. People like Rathore abuse their powers to subvert the course of justice.
Besides reopening the case, the government should compensate the victim’s family for the trauma it has undergone for 19 years.
For whom does the justice delivery system exist? The registration of FIR depends on the social status of the person reporting the crime, the mood of the policeman on duty, possible benefit to the police and so on. Evidence is botched up, investigations are pursued in a lackadaisical fashion, little is done by the prosecution and, ultimately, the case is not pressed with vigour. Elements in the law-enforcement machinery collude with the perpetrators of crime.
The government, instead of remaining in denial, should focus on improving the system. A successful criminal justice system is one which is able to function effectively as a watchdog. If every citizen feels part of the law, the system would be far more effective - as seen in Rathore’s case.
K. Suresh Babu,