A decade after a senior Reserve Bank of India (RBI) official in Chandigarh molested a German tourist,a local court convicted him on Friday. Suresh Kumar Sharma,a deputy general manager with the RBI who was accused of passing lewd remarks and outraging the modesty of the woman in 1999,has been slapped a fine of Rs 4,000.
Sharma,now 60,had taken voluntary retirement shortly after the case was registered against him.
The German national had lodged her complaint against Sharma on August 11,1999. According to Terminder Singh,her counsel,she had visited the regional RBI office in Sector 17 along with her friend Harbert with a complaint pertaining to foreign exchange.
She had alleged that Sharma called them inside his room and asked Harbert to leave on the pretext of fulfilling a few formalities. Later,he offered her coffee and allegedly started asking questions about her personal life. He also passed lewd remarks and told her that he would come to her hotel room in the evening,the complainant had said. The police arrested Sharma when he visited her in the hotel that evening.
The case had been pending in the court since August 1999. The complainant hardly attended any of the hearings during all these years. Terminder Singh said the woman was jobless and could not afford the expenditure to be incurred on the journey. In September 2008,she had written to Chief Judicial Magistrate Y S Rathor,requesting him to reimburse the airfare. The Administration bore the cost of her trip to Chandigarh in January 2009 and also provided her with security when she visited the district courts.