Ruchika molestation case verdict deferred to May 25

The judgement in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case was on Thursday postponed to May 25.

Last Updated: May 20, 2010, 15:45 PM IST

Chandigarh: A sessions court here on Thursday deferred to May 25 verdict on plea for enhancing sentence of former Haryana police chief SPS Rathore in Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh deferred the verdict to May 25 saying since the judgment is lengthy it is being postponed by five days to provide time to complete the process of writing the judgment.

The Judge had on May 11 last fixed for today verdict on the three pleas-- one by the former DGP challenging his six month rigorous imprisonment for "outraging the modesty" of 14-year-old tennis player Ruchika and two appeals by Ruchika`s family and the CBI seeking enhancement of the sentence awarded to him by the trial court.

Rathore and his lawyer wife Abha arrived in the court half-an-hour before the scheduled time 2 PM and sat quietly.

Ruchika`s father SC Girhotra and Anand Prakash and Madhu Prakash, parents of the sole eyewitness Aradhna, also came to the court before time.

Rathore was sentenced to six-month imprisonment on
December 21 last year by a CBI court for molesting the budding
tennis player at Panchakula in Haryana on August 12, 1990.

Reacting on the verdict, Ruchika`s father S C Girhotra
told reporters outside the court that there was nothing wrong
in the judgment being postponed.

"The Judge could not have completed his judgment. We
are hopeful that justice will be done. We have no doubt (on
this)," he added.

Anand Prakash said Rathore had aleady been held guilty
by the trial court which took a lenient view of his crime due
to his age and health.

He alleged Rathore misused his position to molest the
girl. "Instead of protecting the child, he molested her,"
Prakash said adding it was a premeditated action by the police
officer.

He said defence presented by the former DGP in the
court are after-thoughts. "16 witnesses, including two retired
IAS officers, were presented and it is a strong case in our
favour," he claimed.

"We will not leave our fight and take it to its
logical end," he said.

Madhu Prakash said punishment to Rathore will send a
strong message to the society that law is equal for all.

Ruchika family`s lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj said he was
neither upset nor hurt at the postponment.

He claimed Rathore`s arrest is imminent after the
order of the appelant court next week. "The only way Rathore
can seek bail is that he will have to approach the High
Court," he added.

PTI