The Delhi High Court has suspended the sentence of a former National Security Guard (NSG) official, who had spent four-and-a-half years in prison out of his five years jail term in a rape case, observing high case pendency before the court and possible delay of hearing his appeal.
The petitioner had moved the court for suspension of his sentence, which was awarded to him August 8, 2016, by the General Security Guard Court, upheld by an order on October 19, 2016, passed by the Director-General, NSG, and further upheld by order dated December 14, 2018, passed by the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, and to release him on bail.
As per the case, five charges for aggravated sexual assault on children at NSG Campus were framed and he was tried by General Security Guard Court (GSGC) under Section 45 of the NSG Act, 1986 read with Section 10 of POCSO Act, 2012.
At the end of the trial, the petitioner was found guilty of three charges by GSGC and he was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment along with dismissal of service.
As stated in the petition, the said sentence was upheld by authorities for the Internal Security Division of MHA. Praying for the suspension of the sentence, the petitioner submitted that the final disposal of the writ was likely to take some time.
The applicant stated that he had joined the Indian Army in 2002. He has good character and antecedents and there was no truth in the case made out against him, the application stated, adding that the petitioner was the sole bread earning member in his family and he has two minor children, who are completely dependent on the petitioner for their survival.
After the detailed arguments, Justice Talwant Singh, in the order passed on April 4, noted that the applicant has already undergone a sentence of approximately 4 years and 8 months and his 5 year-term is likely to be ending in July 2022 keeping in view the workload of the High Court, his appeal is not likely to be finally heard, so the application for suspension of sentence may be favourably considered.
The bench also observed that he was not a previous convict and there was nothing on record to show that his behaviour in jail was not satisfactory; he had also been granted paroles eight times and not even a single complaint was on record to show that during these periods of parole, he committed any other offence.
The appellant stands dismissed from service, so there is no question of him visiting the NSG Campus or causing trauma to the victims, who may or may not be residing on the same campus now, the bench said.
It is also not in dispute that looking at the workload and pendency of the old appeals in this court, the present appeal is not likely to be heard before July 2022, when five years of a sentence of the appellant/applicant shall be completed, the court said suspending the sentence on a personal bond in the sum of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount.
The appellant shall attend the Court as and when the appeal is listed, he shall not contact or visit any of the victims and he shall not commit any other offence during the period of suspension of sentence. The application is accordingly disposed of, the order read.