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Supreme Court Upholds K.P.S. Gill's Conviction


B.B.C. News, Jul. 27, 2005

Photo: K.P.S. Gill

India's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction for sexual harassment of a policeman who became a national hero.

'Super cop' K.P.S. Gill must pay more than $4,500 compensation to a female civil servant who said he slapped her bottom while drunk at a 1988 cocktail party.

The Supreme Court ruled out a three-month prison term for Gill.

Gill, now retired, denied the charges. He shot to prominence as Punjab police chief in the early 1990s when he led efforts to crush Sikh militancy.

Alcohol Ban

Gill was head of Punjab police when he molested Rupan Deol Bajaj, a senior female bureaucrat who worked for the elite Indian Administrative Service.

He was convicted 10 years later of 'outraging her modesty.'

The Sessions Court in Punjab sentenced him to three months in prison in 1998.

That was later commuted to a year on probation by the state high court, which ordered Gill to pay compensation to his victim and a fine.

Upholding the conviction, two Supreme Court judges on Wednesday ordered that the officer pay the compensation as well as $500 in legal expenses.

Ms. Bajaj refused to accept the compensation and said the money should be donated to a women's welfare home.

Gill was also ordered not to drink in public by the Supreme Court.

But the judges said a jail term was not necessary as he had already served probation.

Human Rights

The B.B.C.'s Abhishek Prabhat in Delhi says Gill enjoyed iconic status for his success in stamping out Sikh militancy.

He was dubbed a one-man army and feared by criminals across the country, earning him the 'super cop' nickname.

Three years ago he was called out of retirement as Gujarat security adviser after religious riots swept the state.

Gill, who now heads the Indian Hockey Federation [I.H.F.], has been a controversial figure for years.

He was accused of excesses in Punjab by human rights groups.