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SC holds Gill guilty in Rupan Deol Bajaj case
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 27
Former DGP of Punjab and Indian Hockey Federation chief K.P.S. Gill today failed in his efforts to clear himself of the stigma of being found guilty of outraging the modesty of a senior woman IAS officer as the Supreme Court upheld his conviction for the offence. But he was spared from undergoing the three-month jail sentence as it was converted into “probation” by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Dismissing his appeal against the conviction and the award of the sentence, a Bench of Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Mr Justice B.N. Srikrishna said “the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgement is upheld”.

The High Court though had modified his sentence by reducing the “probation” from three years to one year and keeping the sentence suspended during this period on his undertaking of maintaining good behaviour and not indulge in drinking in public places and parties, it had not cleared him of the three-month jail term.

The High Court had also upheld the award of Rs 2 lakh compensation by Gill to victim IAS officer Rupan Deol Bajaj, apart from imposing a litigation cost on him.

The apex court also directed that the Rs 2 lakh compensation deposited by Gill with the High Court for payment to Ms Bajaj would go to some woman organisations as the she had declined to accept it.

The woman organisation would be decided by the High Court after passing an appropriate order, the Bench ruled.

The former Punjab Police chief was found guilty by the Chandigarh Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) under Section 345 (outraging the modesty of a woman) and under Section 509 (insulting a woman with word and gesture) in an initial verdict on January 6, 1996 for patting Ms Bajaj, a senior IAS officer, in the posterior while he was allegedly in inebriated condition at a party hosted by then Finance Commissioner (Home) S.L. Kapur at his residence on July 18, 1988.

The party was attended by several top IAS, IPS officers based in Chandigarh and senior journalists from the city, many of whom were later cited as witnesses in the case.

The apex court simultaneously dismissed the revision petition of Ms Bajaj challenging the High Court order, modifying the verdict of the CJM and the Sessions Court.

The Sessions Court though had maintained the sentence, it kept it suspended during a “probation” period of three years, during which Gill’s public behaviour was to be supervised by the Probation Officer of Delhi, where the former DGP lives.

The Sessions Judge, who had also imposed a litigation cost of Rs 50,000 on Gill, of which Rs 25,000 would go to Ms Bajaj, had bound Gill to abide by the probation conditions with his executing a bond of Rs 20,000 and two sureties of the like amount.

On failure to abide by the conditions, he would have to serve the awarded sentence.

But on his appeal, the High Court in its order on August 20, 1998 had made some more modifications in the sentence with upholding the three-month jail term, removing the condition of supervision by the Probation Officer and reducing the period of probation to one year, which had end on January 5, 1999.

Since Gill did not violate any of the conditions imposed on him, the sentence on “probation” was deemed to have been undergone by him as per the provisions of the Probation Act.


We’ve been through hell: Bajaj
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Senior IAS officer Rupan Deol Bajaj, who waged a relentless legal battle against former Punjab DGP K.P.S. Gill for having tried to outrage her modesty, was a relived person today.

Ms Bajaj is presently posted as Financial Commissioner (Revenue), Punjab.

Today, soon after coming to know about the decision of the Supreme Court, upholding the conviction of Mr Gill for the offence, Ms Bajaj said her faith in the judicial system had been upheld.

“My entire family has been through hell. Nobody can imagine the kind of pressure we were under. But, I am happy, justice has been done,” she told The Tribune.

Recalling the initial days following the incident, she said when she had first complained to then Punjab Governor S.S. Ray, he had advised her to “forget everything in national interest”.

“But, I stood my ground. I asked Mr Ray how could demanding action against a criminal be linked to national interest? Mr Ray then asked me what action I wanted him to take. I told him that I would not back down,” Ms Deol added. But, doesn’t she feel justice has come a bit late. After all, it has taken 18 years for the courts to finally convict Mr Gill? “No. The legal procedure had to be completed.”

Asked if she was happy with the punishment — Mr Gill will not have to go to jail for even a single day despite the conviction — Ms Bajaj said she had no reason to feel otherwise.

“Look at it from my angle. He (Mr Gill) now spend his remaining life as a convicted person. So what if he will not go to jail?” she asserted.

Ms Deol also claimed that her family had received threats, including those of physical elimination, if she did no take back the case.


I am not bothered, says Gill

New Delhi, July 27
Commenting on the Supreme Court judgement convicting him of outraging the modesty of senior Indian Administrative Service officer Rupan Deol-Bajaj, former Punjab Director-General of Police K.P.S. Gill told rediff.com: “I am not bothered. It was an attempt to sully my image and my work 18 years ago. It doesn’t hurt me now.”

“Courts just give their view on the facts presented before them,“ he said.

On the court’s order to pay compensation of Rs 2 lakh to Rupan Deol-Bajaj, Gill said, “I deposited the money 10 years ago (in the Punjab and Haryana High Court when the judgement was pronounced).”

Mr Gill added that he was determined to continue with his work as President of the Indian Hockey Federation.

“What has this case to do with that?” he asked. — TNS


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