NEW DELHI: A sub-inspector and a lawyer have been sentenced to four years in jail for implicating a man in a false rape case with the judge observing that when "protectors of rule of law become destructors, then court must respond with firm hands".
The court said that "a revenge drama or Bollywood pot boiler" kind of plot was hatched to avenge a police official's suspension in a molestation case and stressed that police and advocates, who play a pivotal role in justice delivery system and, unquestionably bound by probity, integrity and ethics.
"Police and advocates play a pivotal role in justice delivery system in any criminal matter. They are unquestionably bound by probity, integrity and professional ethics.
"Though, any advocate enjoys privileged relationship with his client, he has, certainly, no business to frame anyone in a false case," Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain observed.
The court's observation came in a case in which two policemen, a lawyer and a court staff lodged a false rape case against Sushil Gulati. One of the policemen was suspended for allegedly molesting Gulati's wife in 2000.
Proceedings against two accused - the then Inspector who was suspended on molestation charge-, and a court staff were abated as they died during the pendency of trial.
Gulati himself expired in 2014 and had spent over two months in jail.
"Present case tells a sordid tale of two police officials and an advocate who, with the help of others, have shown the audacity of framing an innocent man in a serious case of rape in a very ingenious manner," the judge said.
"Offence committed by an illiterate man or committed under ignorance or by a person under compulsion may still be pardonable but offence committed by those who are called the protectors of Law is intolerable. When such protectors of Rule of Law become destructors, then court must respond with firm hands," it observed.
The court sentenced a then sub-inspector and an advocate to four years in jail for conspiring against Gulati in the year 2000 and also imposed a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh each on both the convicts.
"Unfortunately, Gulati is no more alive to see that his malefactors now stand nailed down finally. Culmination point has come little late but it is aptly said that mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceedingly small," judge said.
"Such revenge drama is normally seen in a fiction or may be seen on a silver screen. Rarely, one comes across such devilish but meticulous plot in real life," it observed. "I need not remind myself that the present case is very unusual and different. The plot is having strong resemblance which one can come across any revenge drama or pot boiler of Bollywood. Accused was a police official of a substantial rank who was feeling fumed and humiliated because of slapping of molestation case against him.
"He felt that his image had been tarnished and thought of a novel way to take vengeance to set right Sushil Gulati who was a key witness in such molestation case. He took services of his fellow colleague i.e. accused Narender Singh and then conspiracy was hatched with his help as well as of Hazi Mohd and others," the judge said.
"The convicts did not blink for a second in tarnishing the character of an innocent man and displayed audacity of playing with law like a 'pack of cards' by conspiring to fabricate an innocent man in a serious case of rape," it said.
"For no fault of his, Gulati had to even remain behind bars which must have, surely and certainly, caused immense damage to his character and reputation in estimation of others," the judge said.
According to prosecution, on June 6, 2000 Gulati lodged a complaint against the inspector for allegedly molesting his wife, following which the cop was suspended. In a bid to take revenge from Gulati, all the four accused hatched a conspiracy and hired a differently abled woman to implicate him.
Gulati was arrested by the accused policemen and a rape case was lodged against him, it said, adding the woman later confessed to framing him saying she did it for money.
All accused were arrested and probe revealed that the case was fabricated to avenge suspension of the policeman and extort money.
Regarding the role of the sub inspector in the plot, the court observed, "Entering into criminal conspiracy,fabricating evidence and alluring hapless ladies to become false witnesses cannot be said to be a part of duty of any police official..."
The judge also said in order to achieve evil objective and to oblige their co-accused Inspector, they "played havoc with the life of a handicapped lady."
"Her poor economic condition was exploited and she was made to agree to play the role of rape-victim while showing her lure of money. Though in first blush she too looked equal partner in crime but in hindsight, I have also started feeling that she was, in fact, made a tool...," the judge said.
It is also directed that Rs 2 lakh out of fine would go to legal representatives of Gulati as token compensation for causing damage to his reputation and character.