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HC issues notice to Centre in Ruchika case

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday issued notices to the Centre and the CBI.

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court
on Thursday issued notices to the Centre and the CBI on a PIL
seeking a probe into expulsion of Ruchika Girhotra from a
local school and the hardships her family underwent at the
instance of disgraced former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.

The notices were issued by a division bench comprising
Chief Justice Mukul Moudgil and Justice Jasbir Singh to the
Union of India, the state of Haryana, CBI and Rathore on the
PIL filed by an NGO, Global Human Rights Council through its
Chairman Ranjan Lakhanpal, a local practicing lawyer. The
notices are returnable on January 27.

The PIL submitted said that certain aspects in the
Ruchika molestation case needed to be probed so that the
family of the victim got justice and the accused, especially
those holding high positions, were brought to book.

The PIL comes in the backdrop of the public uproar after
67-year-old Rathore got away with a light punishment of six
months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 for molesting the
14-year-old girl.

The NGO sought a thorough probe into the case, including
the circumstances leading to the suicide of Ruchika three
years after her molestation by Rathore in 1990, besides
booking of her brother Ashu in false cases, including dacoity.

The Sacred Heart School, which had expelled Ruchika on
the ground of non-payment of fees, is among the respondents in
the PIL. The court, however, has not issued any notice to the

"When the minor was weeping, the school instead of giving
her a shoulder expelled her on flimsy ground for non-payment
of school fees," Lakhanpal alleged in the PIL.

"The school was equally responsible for the circumstances
which led Ruchika to commit suicide three years after her
molestation by a senior IPS officer of Haryana," Lakhanpal

He further alleged that the school had probably taken the
action against Ruchika under pressure of Rathore whose
daughter was also studying in the same class.

The PIL demanded action against all those people
"responsible" for the delay in the investigation in the
molestation case and those who were involved in the alleged
torture of Ruchika`s brother Ashu and registration of cases
against him.

The petitioner pleaded that the high court should lay
down guidelines for taking action in such cases so that the
accused are brought to justice.

The petition also sought enhancement of the punishment
awarded to Rathore, a 1995 batch IPS officer, who retired in


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