Govt mulls stripping Rathore of medal
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Last Updated: Saturday, December 26, 2009, 08:45
  
New Delhi: Uproar over the light sentence given to a former Haryana top cop convicted of molesting a 14-year-old girl who later committed suicide intensified today with the Union Home Ministry considering stripping him of Police Medal and reducing pension even as pressure mounted for enhancing his sentence.

The ministry is contemplating sending show cause notices to former DGP S P S Rathore asking why he should not be stripped off of his police medal awarded in 1985 and his pensionary benefits sliced since his conduct was unbecoming of a senior IPS officer.

Rathore was on Monday sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment for molesting Ruchika, a budding tennis player, in 1990 when he was Inspector General of Police.

Highly-placed sources said the ministry may advise the Haryana government to initiate an internal probe to find out who helped Rathore in trying to scuttle the judicial process in the case.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily said the 19-year delay was "unpardonable". The minister said he had discussed the case with the CBI and the Solicitor General of India but was non-committal on whether it will be reopened.

Haryana's top politicians, who have been accused of being indulgent towards Rathore, washed their hands off blaming each other for shielding him.

Refuting charges of protecting Rathore in the molestation case, former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala blamed his successors Bhajan Lal and Bansi Lal for not acting against the police officer.

A day after Ruchika's father, S C Girhotra accused Chautala and successive governments of protecting Rathore, the Haryana politician said his government had, on the contrary, acted against the police officer.

"We took strong action against him. During my government (in 1990), we instituted a departmental inquiry against him. In my tenure later, we suspended him from the post of DGP as he was facing chargesheet in the case. He (Rathore) was promoted to the post of ADGP and DGP during the governments of Bhajan Lal and Bansi Lal. They should be blamed for the promotion," he told reporters here.

Rubbishing the charge, Bhajan Lal said it was Chautala who had promoted Rathore.

Bhajan Lal's son Kuldeep Bishnoi said the case can be reopened and it will become clear which politician shielded Rathore.

Rathore, a 1965-batch IPS officer who retired in 2002 was awarded the Police Medal for Meritorious service on August 15, 1985.

Ruchika committed suicide in 1993 by consuming poison. She was expelled from her school and false cases were slapped against her brother, her family said.

Her father wants that Rathore be punished for abetment to suicide under Sec.305 of the IPC which entails death penalty, life imprisonment or a jail term upto 10 years.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, December 26, 2009, 08:45


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