The Central Bureau of Investigations's closure reports in two of the three fresh cases against disgraced ex-DGP SPS Rathore by family of Ruchika Girhotra, triggered a controversy with a man claiming that his testimony to the agency was not incorporated by it.
Contesting the CBI's stand that no one had testified that Rathore had harassed Ruchika's brother Ashu Girhotra, Vijay Dheer, a resident of Panchkula, claimed that he was an eyewitness to the atrocities committed on Ashu by police allegedly at the behest of the former top Haryana police officer.
"I was an eyewitness to the entire sequence of events when Ashu was handcuffed and paraded naked in our Society by police," Dheer, an owner of a school, alleged while talking to mediapersons. "I told the CBI during my testimony about atrocities committed by Haryana police on Ashu and his torture," he said, claiming that the investigating agency had ignored his testimony in its closure report.
After spending close to six months behind bars, 68-year-old Rathore, who was sentenced to 18-months in jail in the Ruchika molestation case, was released from prison after the Supreme Court granted him bail on November 11.
14-year-old Ruchika, a budding tennis player who was molested by him on August 12,1990, had committed suicide three years later. The three fresh cases against Rathore involve alleged doctoring of post-mortem report, filed by Ruchika's father S C Girhotra, a torture case filed by Ashu and a third case of abetment to suicide of the girl. The closure reports were filed by the CBI last month in the first two cases. The probe in the abetment to suicide case is still pending. Dheer, who was a neighbour of Girhotra family in 1990s, said, "The CBI questioned me for around seven hours during its investigations, but the agency did not incorporate my testimony in its report. "I told the CBI how Ashu was brought naked with handcuffs from market to the Society in which we lived and tortured by the police," he claimed.
The CBI had not mentioned his testimony in its report and ignored it completely, Dheer alleged. The agency in its closure report before a special CBI court in Ambala had stated that neither any neighbour nor any shopkeeper in the vicinity had testified before it that Ashu was harassed by police. In its closure report, CBI had said that the shopkeepers of market of Sector 6 Panchkula stated that neither did they hear nor did they see Ashu being paraded by police in naked condition in December 1993.
The CBI in its closure reports had rebutted eight charges made by the Girhotra family. The father-son duo had on December 29 last year filed the three fresh cases against Rathore with the Panchkula Police. The fresh cases were handed over to the CBI after the family expressed dissatisfaction over the probe conducted first by Panchkula Police and later by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by an IG level officer S S Kapoor. After the CBI filed the closure reports saying the allegations against Rathore were "unfounded and baseless", the court had issued notices to Girhotra and Ashu, who are scheduled to appear before it on December 23.
Ashu in his complaint said that seven FIRs for different offences, including auto theft, were registered against him in a bid to victimise him after the molestation of his sister. He had demanded registration of FIRs, under various sections of the IPC, including attempt to murder and torture, against all those allegedly responsible for his victimisation including Rathore, Assistant Sub Inspector Jai Narayan, Sub Inspector Prem Dutt and ASI Sewa Singh.
On Dec 21, 2009 a CBI special court in Chandigarh convicted Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case and sentenced him to six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000. A session's court had on May 25 enhanced Rathore's jail term from six months to one-and-a-half years while allowing the plea of CBI and the Girhotra family. Rathore's lawyer wife Abha Rathore had filed the review petition on his behalf in the High Court on May 26, a day after he was sentenced and lodged in the high-security Burail jail.