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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

Although the meager punishment of six months awarded to disgraced former top cop of Haryana SPS Rathore in Ruchika molestation case last December has been enhanced by Chandigarh Sessions Court to one and a half years, the point is if in this case Ruchika’s friend Aradhana’s parents had not led a crusade against a DGP-rank officer along with considerable support from the media, the case would have been met the same fate like large chunk of other cases relating to police high -handedness. Even after ordering of CBI probe by High Court in 1999 as well as go ahead by the Supreme Court the same year, it took more than ten years for the trial to be completed. If trial of cases tried by a Magistrate’s Court are allowed to linger on like this, one can easily predict the prevailing state of affairs in our criminal justice machinery. Even at this moment it is difficult to assess how much more time would be spent in High Court and finally in Apex Court for the case to reach its final conclusion. Several questions remain unanswered viz. inspite of such pending case of molestation why the errant officer who was Inspector-General at the time of incident was allowed regular promotions by State Government which led to his elevation to the rank of Director General of Police? Why day-to-day hearing of case was not allowed when the trial began ten years ago? Why the case was transferred firstly from Ambala to Patiala and finally to Chandigarh ? Why are fast-track proceedings not conducted at Magistrate’s level as in the case of district level fast-track courts ? Every day or the other several such kinds of instances involving policemen from all ranks occur unabated, but in a majority of the cases, the victim(s) don’t even dare to report the same to the higher authorities owing to fear, police wrath and humiliation. Though the Supreme Court in its historic ruling on police reforms ( September 2006) mandated setting up of a two-tier Police Complaint Authority both at State and district level headed by retired members of judiciary to inquire such cases of police atrocities, but States are dilly-dallying in constituting any such bodies. Although the notorious smile which appeared on Rathore’s face after getting mild sentence of six months has now disappeared, there is an urgent need for taking stringent measures to tame and tackle growth of more Rathores in our police force.

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