Ruchika case: HC questions Rathore's promotion



Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday questioned as to how SPS Rathore was promoted to the top rank of DGP despite the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case pending against him.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Ranjan Gogoi while seeking details from the Haryana government in this regard fixed January 28 as the next date of hearing.

Meanwhile, the CBI submitted that it will also place on record its final report in the FIRs in the three fresh cases filed against the disgraced former top cop on January 28.

The court direction came during hearing of a PIL filed by a local advocate seeking a fresh case against Rathore for abetment to suicide of Ruchika, a 14-year-old budding tennis player, in 1993.

After spending close to six months behind bars, 68-year-old Rathore, who was sentenced to 18-months in jail in the Ruchika molestation case, was released from prison after the Supreme Court granted him bail on November 11.

Ruchika was molested on August 12,1990.

On the promotion issue, the bench observed how Rathore was promoted despite a criminal case pending against him.

The court also directed the Haryana government to place on record in form of an affidavit its promotion policy with regard to officers facing criminal charges.

The government told the court that it would file its details on promotion policy on the next date of hearing, especially in connection with Rathore.

The CBI had recently filed two closure reports in the Special CBI Court in Ambala in two of the three fresh cases registered against the former Haryana DGP.

The first two cases against Rathore are related to doctoring of Ruchika's postmortem report and custodial torture of her brother Ashu. Probe is still on in the case on abatement to suicide charge against him.

The lawyer had filed the PIL in December last year seeking a fresh case against Rathore under section 305 of the IPC (abetment of suicide of a minor or insane person) as Ruchika was a minor when the incident occurred. A person convicted under section 305 IPC could face death penalty or life imprisonment.

The PIL also sought appropriate action against all those officers who allegedly favoured Rathore and helped in delaying the proceedings against him for almost two decades.

A sessions court had on May 25 this year increased Rathore's jail term from six months to one-and-half years while allowing CBI and Ruchika's family's appeal for enhancement of the punishment.

PTI