Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Did Ruchika Girhotra finally get justice?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It is often said “Justice delayed is justice denied” but finally some justice seems to have been done in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case as former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for having molested the girl almost 20 years back in 1990. The molestation had become a mental trauma for the budding tennis player who committed suicide three years later after her family was being harassed by Rathore and his men.

The bigger question now arises is has justice been done in the case? Rahhore getting 18 months of imprisonment for forcing a person to death seems too less to be just. But that’s the judicial system in India and a person can be tried just on the charges that can be proven. But this system seems a fair judgement considering that Rathore was awarded just 6 months of imprisonment for the same offence in the month of December and had got bail in just 5 minutes! This had led to a national outcry resulting the case to be reopened which many people has termed as “Trial by the Media”

Ruchika’s family though is happy with the verdict as they finally can have faith in the legal system of the nation. Rathore is accused of abetment to suicide and the family is hoping that he will be awarded a harsher punishment on that count too. There are also another 22 cases pending against Rathore who had used all the bureaucratic and political influence to escape punishment in the case regularly harassing the family after it has tried registering a complaint against him. He had falsely charged Ruchika’s brother in many cases and had tortured him time and again forcing Ruchika to justice.

Although many accuse the media of trying the person outside the court room but the fact remains that it is only due to the media that the government and judiciary got into action and reopened the case leading to this judgement. Would this have been possible without the media? Be it a Nitish Katara, Jessica Lal or Priyadarshani Mattoo case the media forced the judiciary to deliver justice after the accused had used their influence to get off the clutches of the law.

In case of Rathore, the court should award him a harsher punishment for forcing the young girl into misery and finally to suicide. 18 months is too less to be a penalty for someone’s death.


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