Chandigarh: Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Centre to grant provisional pension to former DGP SPS Rathore, convicted for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra who later committed suicide, till his appeal challenging his conviction is decided by the Supreme Court.
A Division Bench of the High Court ruled that Rathore, whose pension as withheld by the Centre following his conviction in 2010, be given provisional pension and health benefits and made it clear that if the appeal is dismissed, the pension paid till then will be recovered from him.
69-year-old Rathore has challenged his conviction on charges of molesting Ruchika, a budding tennis player who committed suicide three years after her molestation in 1990.
The directions were passed on a petition filed by the Centre against an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, where it had ordered restoration of Rathore`s pension.
CAT`s Chandigarh bench had in December last year invalidated the order passed by the Centre withholding Rathore`s pension. The Centre had passed the orders after Rathore`s conviction in the molestation case.
The Union Home Department had earlier filed a petition in the High Court for quashing the CAT orders that directed restoration of Rathore`s pension.
After this, Rathore had challenged the order equating his case with former Punjab DGP KPS Gill and maintained that "no order for withholding the pension of KPS Gill, who has also been found guilty of molestation, has been passed".
Rathore was awarded 18 months jail sentence by a Chandigarh court on May 25, 2010. He remained in jail for over five months and is currently out on bail.