With withdrawal of police medal from former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, the Centre has made it clear that police officers convicted of crimes will be stripped of their medals. Now former Punjab DGP KPS Gill faces the possibility of losing the award.
Opinion, nevertheless, is divided as to whether the same yardstick will apply to Gill.
Gill was convicted for misbehaving with IAS officer Rupan Deol Bajaj in 1996 but he is also credited with single-handedly eliminating insurgency in the state. So many feel that he should not be stripped of the awards keeping in mind the services he rendered to the nation.
Gill, who was DGP of the state twice, won three medals in his service: Meritorious Service in 1972, President’s police medal in 1975 and Padam Shri 1988.
Currently the president of Indian Hockey Federation, he commanded Operation Black Thunder to drive out militants hiding in the Golden Temple in 1988.
His services in counter-terrorism were also sought by Sri Lankan and Gujarat governments.
With the Home Ministry considering stripping Gill of his medals, senior advocate KTS Tulsi came out in the officer’s defense.
“Remember, in 1996, Gill was convicted for outraging the modesty of a lady IAS officer. Now stripping his off his medals is unjustified. KPS Gill is an outstanding officer. They will need to balance acts of courage with this minor blemish. Anyone can have false accusations against them. Anyone can have an accusation that is blown out of proportion,” Tulsi said.
KPS Gill, however, insists that he wasn’t convicted.
“There was no conviction in my case. Also there was no delay in trial on my part. The Supreme Court took up the case in 1995 though the High Court quashed the FIR in 1989. This would not have become an issue had I not been the DGP,” he told a news channel.
The Case Involving KPS GILL
• Gill was accused in 1988 by senior IAS officer Rupan Deol Bajaj of pinching her bottom
• The incident happened during a party, when Gill was DGP of Punjab
• In August 1996, Gill was convicted for sexual harassment, and was sentenced to five months imprisonment for the same
• In July 2005, the Supreme Court scaled down the punishment to probation and a fine