Govt to serve notice to ex-DGP Rathore

Centre will serve notice to Haryana ex-DGP Rathore asking him why he should not be stripped off his Police Medal.

Last Updated: Dec 25, 2009, 17:08 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Centre on Friday decided to serve notice to disgraced Haryana former DGP SPS Rathore asking him why he should not be stripped off the 1985 Police Medal for Meritorious Services and why his pension should not be cut as a result of his conviction in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Chandigarh Monday held Rathore, a 1965 batch 1PS officer, guilty of molesting 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra in Panchkula town Aug 12, 1990. The budding tennis player committed suicide three years later due to alleged harassment by the police official for filing an official complaint against the molestation. Rathore was sentenced to six-month prison term by the court.

The Home Ministry is looking into the matter.

Refusing to comment on the case, Union Law Minister Veerapa Moily said the government was working on ‘stringent laws to avoid such cases in future.’ He said a delay of 19 years was unacceptable in any case and working out a mechanism to fast track all cases
of rape, molestation and others connected with women, disabled
and senior citizens.

"At the National Consultation on Judicial Reforms
held recently, the Government and the Judiciary have decided
to prioritise and classify cases related to women, children
and the disabled...classification is an important component of
the programme," he said. He added classification and prioritisation would ensure
that such cases are "fast tracked" in courts.

"...cases pending for 15 years or more
will be reduced to 3 years and that will be achievable from
here within 3 years. All cases pending in courts after January
1, 2010 will be treated as arrears," the Minister said.

Moily rued the presence of gender bias in the country`s laws and informed that the govt was working to eliminate it.

He also said there should not be any interference with the rule of law. Moily further said he had taken up the matter of appealing in the Ruchika case with the Solicitor General and the government would push CBI on the matter.

Sources have also revealed that Centre has already asked CBI to appeal in Sessions Court and push for the maximum punishment of 2 years for Rathore.

Various individuals and organisations had expressed discontent at the quantum of punishment handed out to Rathore. The National Commission for Women, Left parties, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, the judge who initially ordered CBI probe into the matter are among votaries for better handling of the case.

CBI is said to be consulting with the Directorate of Prosecution to re-investigate the case, sources at the agency have revealed.

Earlier, in a startling revelation, DGP (Retd) RR Singh, immediate senior of SPS Rathore and probing officer in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, has said that he was threatened by Rathore during the probe.

Speaking to journalists, Singh recalled the events related to "threats and pressure mounted by Rathore" on him.

He was the first officer to probe the charges against Rathore, and he retired in 1992 after submitting his report to the Haryana government, saying it was a "planned molestation".

"While I conducted the probe, he (SPS Rathore) garnered the support of all residents of Rajiv Colony (a slum) in Panchkula and people of his community in Naraingarh, Ambala district. They staged dharnas outside my office and home. I mentioned everything in my report to the Haryana government as well as to the Union ministry of home affairs," he said.

RR Singh also said that he perceived a threat from Rathore and chose to retain his security cover even after retirement.

Meanwhile furore over the punishment- six months and affine of Rs 1000- refuses to die. From NCW to the various civil rights groups, there us a demand for appeal in a higher court as well reopening of the case.