Complainant opposes Rathore’s bail, seeks judicial probe

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI - One of the main complainants in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, Anand Prakash, Thursday said he was opposed to the bail granted to former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore and sought a judicial probe into the 1990 molestation case.

The apex court Thursday granted bail to S.P.S. Rathore, who is serving an 18-month jail sentence for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990.

“I know that seeking bail is his (Rathore’s) right but we will contest the court order granting bail to Rathore. We will also oppose the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which has filed a closure report in the CBI court at Ambala,” Anand Prakash, father of Ruchika’s friend Aradhana and complainant in the molestation case, told a TV channel in the capital.

The apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan said Rathore would not leave the country without specific permission of the court.

“We supplied all documentary and circumstantial evidence against Rathore to the CBI. We had told the home ministry that the CBI team investigating the case was biased in favour of Rathore and was trying to help him,” Anand Prakash said.

Ruchika’s father S.C. Girhotra told IANS: “I am deeply hurt with this decision. It is a disgrace that such a senior officer molested a 14-year-old girl. We and the public wanted exemplary punishment for Rathore so that a clear message goes to other officers and they do not dare to do such a thing again.”

“But there is nothing to worry in this. It is only a bail. There is no relaxation in the conviction of Rathore. The CBI closure report filed in the Ambala court is also one-sided. We will oppose it in a higher court,” Girhotra said in Chandigarh.

Rathore, 69, who retired as director general of police in Haryana in 2002, is currently lodged in the high-security Burail jail in Chandigarh, where he is serving his sentence for molesting 14-year-old Ruchika. The teen committed suicide in 1993 due to the harassment.

He was sentenced to 18 months rigorous imprisonment by a district and sessions court of Chandigarh May 25 this year.

At the time of Ruchika’s molestation, Rathore was deputy inspector general of Haryana Police and headed the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA). The budding tennis player was molested by Rathore at the Panchkula-based office of the HLTA.

On Wednesday, having failed to gather any concrete proof against Rathore, the CBI submitted a closure report before a court in Ambala, 45 km from here, pertaining to two FIRs that were registered against Rathore Dec 29 last year.

These two FIRs were registered against Rathore on the complaint of Ruchikas father and brother. He was booked on non-bailable charges like attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, forging evidence, wrongful confinement, fabricating false evidence, custodial torture and criminal conspiracy.

However, a third case in which Rathore was booked for abetting Ruchika to commit suicide is still pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh.

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