Ruchika case: SC grants bail to Rathore
New Delhi: Expressing shock and outrage over what is being perceived as Central Bureau of Investigation’s clean chit to SPS Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case, her family and friends, Thursday, demanded that the case be probed by an independent panel.
The Supreme Court today granted bail to the disgraced ex-DGP of Haryana who is behind bars for nearly six months serving a 18-month jail term in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, a day after the CBI filed a closure report in two of the three fresh cases registered against 68-year-old Rathore following allegations by the brother and the father of teenager Ruchika Girhotra.
The two cases related to the accusation against the top cop that he had doctored Ruchika's post mortem report and that he was behind the custodial torture of her brother Ashu.
The closure reports were filed before the CBI court in Amabala which is yet to take a view. The CBI court has issued notices to the Girhotra family
The case against Rathore relating to abetment to suicide of Ruchika is however still under
probe and Rathore's plea against conviction is also pending in the Supreme Court.
Reacting to the court order, a disappointed SC Girhotra, father of Ruchika, said his family will now feel "insecure" since there will be a threat of "harassment" from
He also said, “All the residents of the street we lived in had given in writing to the CBI about how the police used to harass us at that time, still the CBI has filed the closure report?,” he said.
Rathore deserves to be punished, he molested the 14-year-old despite him being an IG of Police, the pained father said.
“The case should not be treated as an ordinary criminal case, it was a very heinous crime as he was the IG Police and he was supposed to protect. But he molested a 14-year-old girl. What lesson is passed on to the children of India if he goes scot-free?,” asked Girhotra.
Voicing his anguish, he added that the family was - for the first ten years after the crime was committed in 1990 – not even able to file an FIR against the powerful police official.
“Later, after a lot of hardship we managed to lodge an FIR against him and took the case through three courts. But today we are heartbroken. The only solace is that his conviction still stands and that he was only granted bail. I have faith in the Supreme Court,” he said.
Anand Prakash, father of Aradhana - the sole witness in the case – also expressed his deep sense of disappointment, he said, “Throughout the inquiry the CBI was inclined towards favouring Rathore and his officers, the CBI is shielding the accused. We had appraised the Union Home Ministry of our apprehension and will demand an independent inquiry where no police officers are involved in the investigation.”
“All Haryana police officers are culprits and we will contest the closure report on the 25th in the Ambala Court,” he said.
Aradhana’s mother, who along with her husband, was present in the SC. In her reaction to the conduct of the CBI, she said, “This is shocking because even after having all the evidence, including Ashu’s statement, the CBI has filed the closure report.”
“Ruchika’s family was harassed so much. Her brother (Ashu) was kept in illegal custody, all of which later led Ruchika to suicide,” she said, adding that her daughter and the family also had to go through a lot of difficulties.
Ruchika, 14, a budding tennis player, had committed suicide three years after being molested by Rathore on August 12, 1990. A sessions court had on May 25 this year enhanced Rathore's jail term from six months to one-and-a-half years while allowing the plea of Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) and the Girhotra family.
Rathore has been serving the 18-month jail term in Burail jail in Chandigarh since May 25 after his punishment was enhanced.
Punjab and Haryana High Court had on September 1 dismissed Rathore's appeal challenging his conviction and the sentence, saying his conduct as a top official was "shameful”.