In the matter of G.K.B vs Union of India & Ors., the Delhi High Court suspended on 4th April 2022 suspended the sentence of an ex-National Security Guard (NSG) officer in a sexual assault case involving minors. The Court also noted that with the volume of work and pending appeals in this court, the present appeal is unlikely to be considered before July 20, 2022, and cannot be undenied.
Facts leading to the case:
A criminal writ petition was filed by the petitioner who was an ex-National Security Guard (NSG) officer, convicted under Section 45 (Civil offences) of the National Security Guard Act, 1986, read with Section 10 (Punishment for aggravated sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act [POCSO], 2012 in the allegation of committing aggravated sexual assault on minors. Furthermore, he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a term of 5 years and was also dismissed from service.
The Counsel for the petitioner prayed for the suspension of the sentence and asked the Court to consider the mitigating circumstances which are past service records of the petitioner. With regards to this, it is submitted that the petitioner had joined the Indian Army in 2002 and throughout his service, he has had good character. Moreover, the survival of his two minor children and other family members who are completely dependent on the petitioner for their living will become difficult as he is the sole earning member of the family.
The Counsel for the respondents submitted that the petitioner has misused his position as an NSG official and has tainted the image of the prestigious security organization, i.e., NSG by committing aggravated sexual assault on 3 minor children which will adversely affect the faith of the common people in the Army personnel if the sentence of the petitioner is suspended.
Observation of the Court:
- The Court noted that the applicant had served 4 years and 11 months and had received 9 months and 23 days of remission, indicating that he had served more than half of the sentence. The court further found that the appellant’s behaviour in jail was satisfactory, that he is not a previous offender, that no single complaint was found throughout his parole period, and that he had not committed any other crime.
- Since, the applicant has been dismissed from the service, there’s no chance he’ll visit the NSG Campus or cause distress to the victims, who may or may not be living on the same campus presently.
- Considering all these mitigating circumstances and the current legal framework of pending old appeals and workload, the Court allowed the suspension of the sentence of the present applicant on the execution of a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 25,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Jail Superintendent, Central Jail, Gurugram, Haryana.
Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – POSH at Work & Surbhi Singh