Ruchika Case: Lawyer Says will Move SC for Abetment Trial

New Delhi
Ruchika Case: Lawyer Says will Move SC for Abetment Trial
Amid a public outcry over light sentence given to a former Haryana DGP convicted of molesting a minor girl, the complainant's counsel today said they will soon move the Supreme Court seeking enhancement of punishment and trial of the ex-top cop on charges of abetment to suicide.

S P S Rathore was on Monday sentenced to six months of rigorous imprisonment for molesting 14-year-old Ruchika, a budding tennis player, in 1990 when he was Inspector General of Police. The girl committed suicide three years later.

Pankaj Bhardwaj, a lawyer for Madhu Parkash, the mother of the victim's friend whose family had been fighting the case all these years, said they will seek trial of Rathore for abetment to suicide -- a charge under which he was not tried.

Bhardwaj said they will seek harsher punishment for the former top cop.

Ruchika's family says that they were harassed after the complaint was lodged, with the girl being expelled from her school and false cases being slapped against her brother.

Asked why the police officer was not tried for abetment to suicide after Ruchika's death on December 29, 1993, Bhardwaj said, "When the premier investigating agency CBI itself does not prosecute Rathore for the offence under section 306 IPC, what can one do?"

According to the order of the Chandigarh CBI Magistrate, the probe agency had sought trial under section 354 of the IPC relating to molestation.

Rathore was served a notice only in relation to Section 354 on March 17, 2003 to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed regular trial which lasted about six years, according to the order.

As per documents accessed by PTI, Rathore was initially booked for offences under Section 354 (molestation) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of woman) in FIR No 516 dated December 29, 1999 registered at the Panchkula police station.

The case was registered following the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 21, 1999 on a petition moved by Madhu Parkash. The Supreme Court had on December 14, 1990 upheld the High Court order.

After Ruchika committed suicide by consuming poison on December 29, 1993, the case was transferred to CBI.

The chargesheet was presented in the court of the Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Ambala on November 17, 2000. Rathore was ordered to be summoned for the offence under Section 354 as per another order of the same date.

According to the document, an application for addition of offence of abetment to suicide was moved by Madhu Prakash on October 8, 2001. The application was allowed by the CBI court vide an order dated October 23, 2001 and the court started the proceedings for commitment of the case.

But a criminal revision petition was filed by the accused in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The revision was accepted by the High Court on February 12, 2002.

Thereafter, Rathore was served notice of accusation only under Section 354 on March 17, 2003.

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