Rathore’s bail plea rejected, arrest possible any time

Friday, January 8, 2010

PANCHKULA - A Panchkula court Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of former state police chief S.P.S. Rathore, who molested teenager Ruchika Girhotra 19 years ago, leaving it open for the Haryana police to arrest him any time.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanjeev Jindal dismissed the bail plea filed by Rathore after two fresh First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against him Dec 29.

Rathore was booked under non-bailable charges like attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, forging evidence, wrongful confinement, fabricating false evidence and criminal conspiracy.

Neither Rathore nor his wife Abha Rathore, who is his counsel, were present in the court when the bail plea was dismissed.

Rathore had got interim relief Jan 1 from the court till Friday on his bail plea in the matter pertaining to the two fresh FIRs registered against him.

The court also rejected the anticipatory bail plea of another Haryana police official, Sewa Singh, a sub-inspector posted at Pinjore near here, who also has been accused of implicating Ruchika’s brother Ashu in false cases of car theft, allegedly at Rathore’s behest.

Sources in the Haryana police said after the court order that the state director general of police (DGP) and senior home department officials could now consult Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda before arresting Rathore.

The Haryana police, through the state government, have already recommended to the central government that the fresh cases, including a third FIR charging Rathore of abetment to suicide of Ruchika, be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for investigation.

“I am happy and I have hope that justice will be done. We want him arrested immediately,” Ruchika’s friend Aradhana, whose family fought the case against Rathore for over 19 years, said after the bail plea was rejected.

Aradhana alleged that state officials had already been supporting Rathore in the past and that she did not have much faith in the state machinery to take action against him.

“The CBI is a more independent agency and I hope they will be able to investigate the matter properly,” Aradhana added.

Rathore’s counsel said after the dismissal of the bail plea that they would move the high court to seek relief.

Ruchika, a teenaged budding tennis player, was molested by Rathore, then an inspector general of police, in Panchkula Aug 12, 1990. Three years later, Ruchika committed suicide.

Nineteen years after the molestation incident, Rathore was convicted by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court here Dec 21 and sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000.

The light conviction led to uproar in different sections of society, forcing authorities to re-visit the case and seek justice for the molestation victim.

A magisterial inquiry by the Chandigarh administration had Thursday indicted Ruchika’s school, Sacred Heart school, and its principal for her expulsion on the flimsy grounds of non-payment of fee in 1990, just after her molestation incident.

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