Ruchika`s school ignores CBSE order on principal
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 02, 2010, 20:54
New Delhi/Chandigarh: The CBSE has directed disciplinary action against principal of a school which expelled Ruchika Girhotra soon after she complained of molestation by ex-DGP SS Rathore nearly two decades ago, but the school management defended her saying she was "innocent".

The Board has asked the management of Sacred Heart School in Chandigarh to initiate proceedings against principal Sister S Sebestina and other school staff for expelling the 14-year-old for non-payment of fees without intimating her parents about it, sources in the CBSE said, adding an expert committee found that the school had violated "affiliation bylaws".

Ruchika, a budding tennis, was molested by Rathore in 1990 and committed suicide three years later. She was in Class IX when she was expelled.

The action could range from censure, suspension, dismissal or compulsory retirement from service.

However, the school management claimed that Ruchika was never expelled but her name was struck off the rolls as she had remained absent for a long duration.

"What action are we going to take against her (Principal). We are not going to take any action. She is innocent," Father Thomas, Vicar-General and spokesman of the Chandigarh-Shimla Diocese, which runs the 44-year-old school, said in Chandigarh this evening.

"We have not received any notice from the Central Board of Secondary Education so far," he said responding to a query.

Thomas claimed that there had never been any kind of pressure from Rathore on the school earlier and added the former DGP had not even visited the school.

He claimed that Ruchika had continuously remained absent from the school for three months leading to her name being struck off.

"Ruchika was not expelled and there is no proof to suggest that. She herself had stopped coming to the school on her own and her name was struck off the rolls," he said.

He said there was no question of punishing principal Sister Sebestina, who continues to be the principal, when she was not at fault.

Earlier, a probe ordered by Chandigarh Administration had found Sister Sebestina guilty of arbitrarily expelling Ruchika from the school.

Sub-divisional magistrate Prerna Puri had in her probe report said the decision to expel Ruchika by the school was taken in an arbitrary, selective and a biased manner.

The case grabbed headlines when Rathore was convicted last year of molesting Ruchika. A sessions court had on May 25 this year increased Rathore's jail term from six months to one-and-half years. On September one, the High Court dismissed Rathore's appeal against his conviction and sentencing, ruling that his conduct as a top official was "shameful".

68-year-old Rathore was released on bail last month, after spending nearly six months in jail for molesting Ruchika.


First Published: Thursday, December 02, 2010, 20:54

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