Ruchika case: Verdict on Rathore`s plea on May 2O

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 21:45

Chandigarh: A Sessions court here will
pronounce verdict on former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore`s plea
challenging the six-month sentence awarded to him by a CBI
court for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra on May 20.

The CBI and relatives of budding tennis player Ruchika,
who later committed suicide, had also filed petitions before
the court seeking enhancement of the sentence for Rathore.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh
fixed May 20 for delivering the judgement on all the three
pleas after conclusion of arguments and counter-agruments in
the case, Ruchika`s family counsel Pankaj Bhardwaj said today.

The court heard the agruments, which began on May
three, on a day-to-day basis, he told reporters here.

The proceedings were held in-camera.

The disgraced former top cop had sought setting aside
of the trial court verdict against him while the Ruchika
family and the CBI had sought maximum punishment of two years
for 68-year-old Rathore.

The former DGP was sentenced to six-month imprisonment
on December 21 last by CBI Judge J S Sidhu for molesting
14-year-old Ruchika at Panchkula in Haryana on August 12,
1990.

Three years after she was molested, Ruchika committed
suicide.

Ruchika`s father S C Girhotra and Madhu Prakash, the
mother of Aradhna, who was the sole witness to the molestation
incident, were present in the court.

Arguing before the court, the Ruchika`s family counsel
sought enhancement of sentence for Rathore.

"A total of 16 prosecution and 17 defence witnesses
appeared before the court," Bhardwaj said.

Rathore`s counsel Abha, who is also the wife of the
former DGP, concluded her rebuttal arguments yesterday.

On Saturday, the CBI had argued on the presentation of
evidence before the court.

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Utsav Sharma, who had inflicted
knife injuries on Rathore while he was coming out of a court
on February eight and was granted bail, appeared in a court
here today.

The court extended his bail till August 16 when he is
to appear in the case before it.

"It is an emotional moment for me," Ruchika`s father
told reporters outside the court soon after the Judge fixed
the date for the verdict.

Struggling to hold back his tears, he recalled the
trauma his family had undergone for the past 20 years.

"Rathore deserves no leniency. We are praying he will
be awarded maximum punishment of two years," said Girhotra.

He said he had full faith in the judiciary.

Madhu Prakash said Rathore should be given maximum
punishment.

She said her daughter Aradhana had been following the
case keenly after going back to Australia where husband is
based.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 21:45

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