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How did molester Rathore get promoted, HC asks CBI

November 17, 2010 14:36 IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday sought details from the Haryana government about how disgraced former top police official S P S Rathore was promoted to the rank of director general of police when a complaint of molestation was pending against him.

The direction came while hearing a PIL filed by a local advocate seeking a fresh case against Rathore for abetment to teenager Ruchika Girhotra's suicide.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Rajan Gogoi also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to place on record the final report it had submitted in the three FIRs against Rathore.

The bench directed the CBI to provide notings on the service file relating to the promotion of Rathore as DGP.

The court also issued a notice to Sacred Heart School and directed the authorities to produce the inquiry report on Ruchika's expulsion from the institute, allegedly at the behest of Rathore.

The lawyer had filed the PIL in December last year seeking a fresh case against Rathore under Section 305 of the IPC (abetment of suicide of a minor or insane person) as Ruchika was a minor when the incident occurred.

Punishment under Section 305 includes death penalty or life imprisonment. The PIL also sought strict action against the management of Sacred Heart School for expelling Ruchika on illegal grounds.

It also sought appropriate action against all those officers who favoured Rathore and delayed the trial for almost two decades. The CBI had recently filed two closure reports in the special CBI court in Ambala in two of the three fresh cases registered against Rathore.

The two cases are related to the accusation against Rathore that he had doctored Ruchika's post-mortem report and was behind the custodial torture of her brother Ashu.

The closure reports were filed before the CBI court in Ambala, which has issued notices to Ruchika's father Subhash Girhotra and her brother Ashu, on whose complaints the fresh cases were registered on December 29 last year. However, the probe into the abetment to suicide charge is still on.

After spending close to six months behind bars, Rathore – who is serving an 18-month sentence in the Ruchika molestation case -- walked free on Friday, a day after the Supreme Court granted him bail. Ruchika, 14, a budding tennis player, committed suicide three years after being molested by Rathore on August 12,1990.

A sessions court had on May 25 this year increased Rathore's jail term from six months to one-and-half years while allowing CBI and Ruchika's family's plea for enhancement of the punishment.

The Punjab and Haryana high court had on September 1 dismissed Rathore's appeal challenging his conviction and the sentence, saying his conduct as a top official was 'shameful'. The case will now come up for hearing on December 24.

Anand Parkash and his wife Madhu, parents of Aradhana -- the sole witness in the case -- who had fought the legal battle for years, have expressed satisfaction at the high court directive.

"This is a very good development. Everything should be scrutinised at the HC level and if anybody is found guilty of saving Rathore and doing him any favour, that should be properly analysed. The guilty should be punished," Parkash said.

On the notice sent to the school, he said, "It has been proved that the school was guilty of expelling Ruchika. Maximum punishment should be given to the principal."

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