Vrinda Sharma

CHANDIGARH: The family of the 14-year-old molestation victim is elated at the sessions court here rejecting the former Haryana DGP, S.P.S. Rathore's appeal against his conviction and enhancing his sentence from six months rigorous imprisonment to 18 months. Expressing satisfaction with Tuesday's verdict, the girl's father said, “We are very elated that finally justice has been done. But our fight to get him [Rathore] even more punishment for abetment to suicide [under Section 306 of the IPC] will continue.”

The father said: “This verdict has shown that no one is above the law and even a powerful person like him can be punished.” This is the first time in over 19 years that Rathore has been formally arrested in the molestation case.

In December last, a CBI special court held Rathore guilty of molesting the budding tennis player at Panchkula nearly two decades ago. The girl committed suicide three years after the incident, unable to put up with the continuous harassment of her and her family by Rathore, a powerful police officer in Haryana.

Now the sessions court heard arguments daily from May 3 to 11. The proceedings were held in camera. “We are satisfied with the verdict,” said lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj, who represented Anand and Madhu Prakash, the main complainants.

Mr. Anand Prakash said: “We are proud of the judiciary, it is the right decision. It has proved that even a powerful man like Rathore cannot escape punishment. Our next step will be to expedite the three investigations going on. We will appeal for a two-year punishment for him.”