Rathore`s counsel questions "late" reaction of Ruchika, friend
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Last Updated: Monday, July 05, 2010, 20:29
Chandigarh: Former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore's counsel wife Abha, who has challenged his conviction in Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, today questioned why the victim and her friend remained "silent" about the incident for three days.

As the day-to-day hearing on the revision petition resumed today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Abha contended that the lower court had not dealt properly with the issue of "late" reaction of the victim.

68-year-old Rathore is lodged in high security Burail jail since May 25 after being sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for molesting 14-year-old Ruchika on August 12, 1990. Rathore was then the president of Haryana Lawn Tennis Association in Panchkula.

Ruchika committed suicide three years after the incident.

"What should have been the reaction of the girls (Ruchika and Aradhna after the indent). There was no reaction from the girls until 7 PM of August 14. If any ugly incident is happening, a person reacts simultaneously and you don't need reaction time," Abha told the court.

Abha said the the appellate court had not dealt properly with the question of the girls taking so long to speak up.

Justice Jitendra Chauhan heard arguments for about an hour before adjourning the case till tomorrow.

"When Ruchika came back, her father S C Girhotra came to his home in Panchkula and found her doing her homework. According to the prosecution story, he does not remember the incident being talked about the next day even and Ruchika did not look disturbed that day," Abha told the court.

She further said that the lower court had observed that Ruchika was a convent educated girl, which is why she did not narrate the incident to her parents and pleaded before the judge to examine the reasoning which has been given.

"Ruchika did not have mother, but Aradhna could have narrated the incident, but both chose not to speak for full three days. There is no explanation for this and the courts have not been examining this," she said.

She also contested prosecution's claim that Girhotras feared that Rathore would slap false cases against them.

"But what stopped Ruchika and Aradhna talk to their parents about the incident," she said.

"Both go to HLTA and play tennis after the incident on August 14. This is the most un-natural conduct," she said.

She claimed that many of Rathore's witnesses had not been examined either by the trial court or the appellate court.

"And what does Mr Girhotra do. He sends his daughter to a complete stranger (Aradhna's father Anand Prakash). Girhotra himself has maintained that his relations with the Prakash family grew only after the incident and prior to that he knew Anand Prakash and Madhu Prakash only by name.... Will this be the behaviour of the father of the girl who has been molested," she said.

Abha had on May 26 filed a revision petition in the High Court for suspension of sentence and grant of bail to Rathore, a day after the session's court enhanced his jail term from six to 18 months.


First Published: Monday, July 05, 2010, 20:29

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