Rathore gets interim bail; CBI may take over suicide case
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 02, 2010, 09:30
  
Panchkula/New Delhi: Disgraced former Haryana top cop SPS Rathore on Friday got a week's interim bail against arrest in two cases as the Central government indicated that the CBI may take over the case of abetment to suicide of teenager Ruchika Girhotra.

The 67-year-old former DGP got the bail from Sessions Court in Panchkula which posted the hearing in two cases of harassment of Ruchika's brother Ashu which includes a charge of attempt to murder and the doctoring of report of her postmortem.

Even as he got a temporary reprieve, highly placed sources in Central government said that the CBI may take over the case relating to serious charge of abetment to suicide against Rathore after Haryana government registers an FIR.

An application was filed yesterday by Ruchika's brother Ashu that he was tortured and his family was harassed so much that the girl was driven to suicide and wanted filing of a case under 306 of IPC (abetment to suicide).

District and Sessions Judge SP Singh, who gave the bail, imposed conditions on Rathore that included he would not leave the country without court's permission and also not threaten any one connected with the case.

‘Step mother forced Ruchika to commit suicide’

Rathore's lawyer wife Abha, who argued the bail application, levelled a series of allegations against Ruchika's family and claimed "step-motherly treatment" of the girl by one Veena, to whom Ruchika's father Subhas Chandra, she claimed, was remarried, drove her to commit suicide.

Family lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj dismissed the allegation and challenged Abha to show the marriage certificate while Ruchika's friend Aradhana's father Anand Parkash said Veena had looked after the two children but Subhash had never remarried.

Bhardwaj said he would expose the truth in the next hearing when he would also oppose Rathore's anticipatory bail application.

"To drive a girl to commit suicide after such an incident (molestation) and after nine years the FIR sees the light of the day. What kind of justice or system you are talking about," he told reporters outside the court.

Ruchika's friend Aradhana, who has been waging a battle against Rathore for a number of years, expressed disappointment over the grant of bail and said she hoped that speedy trial would take place.

In his order, the Sessions Judge said "the petitioner (Rathore), if arrested by the police till January seven under the two FIRs, will be released on interim bail on furnishing bail bonds of Rs one lakh with one surety of like amount in each case to the satisfaction of the arresting officer".

The interim bail, the judge said, shall remain in force till January 7 when the case will come up for further hearing. Rathore was not present in the court.

Abha argued before the judge that Ruchika's father, Subhash Chander Girhotra, Ashu and the family of Madhu Prakash, the complainant in the molestation case, "want to become heroes and heroines in the eyes of the public". She alleged that the facts had been "fabricated and interpolated."

In its three-page order, the court also directed Rathore to make himself available for investigation in connection with the two cases if the police asked him to join the probe.

The judge did not consider Rathore's anticipatory bail but only accepted the plea of interim bail. "At this stage of the present case, the court is not exercising its power either to grant or refuse the anticipatory bail of the petitioner."

He said, "The counsel for the petitioner has made a request for grant of interim bail only till the next date of hearing when the state will appear and present its case before the court lest the petitioner is arrested before hearing of the matter on merits by the court from both the sides."

The order further said, "Going by the submission of the counsel and perusing the order/documents referred before me, formation of SIT which is still to collect/appreciate the evidence before arresting the petitioner, such a request of the counsel (Abha) deserves acceptance.

"The court is aware of the legal proposition that anticipatory bail to some extent intrudes into the sphere of the investigation of the crime and the court must be cautious and must circumspect in exercising such power of discretionary nature."

PTI


First Published: Saturday, January 02, 2010, 09:30


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