M A I N   N E W S

Ruchika molestation & suicide case
Higher judiciary provided relief to Rathore
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The Ruchika molestation case is different from the Jessica murder case and the Priyadarshini Mattoo case in one respect. While in the Jessica murder case and the Mattu murder case, justice to the families of the victims came from the higher judiciary, when the accused were set free by the trial courts, in the Ruchika molestation case, the higher judiciary provided relief to former Haryana DGP Shambhu Pratap Singh Rathore, the accused, from time to time, by quashing the orders of the lower courts.

Taking suo moto notice of a Tribune report on how Ruchika’s brother Ashu was harassed and implicated in false cases by the Ambala police, Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the then District and Sessions Judge, Patiala, S.N. Aggarwal (who was later elevated to the Bench) to conduct an inquiry into the allegations.

After recording statements of all witnesses, who were duly cross-examined by a leading criminal lawyer Ajay Jain on behalf of Rathore, Aggarwal submitted his report in a sealed cover to the High Court.

But before the report could become public, the Supreme Court accepted a plea of Rathore and quashed the High Court order asking Aggarwal to enquire into the harassment of Ashu. The Aggarwal report remains wrapped in the sealed cover till date.

Those who are now demanding an inquiry into the harassment of Ashu and action against those policemen, who implicated him in false cases, should move the apex court urging it to review its decision of quashing the order of Mr Justice Gill.

Similarly, the CBI judge at Ambala Jagdev Singh Dhanjal had added Section 306, IPC (abetment to suicide) against Rathore, even though the CBI had not pressed this charge against the former DGP in its challan.

However, the High Court quashed the trial court’s order and, hence, Rathore was tried only on the charge of molestation (Section 354, IPC).

The High Court repeatedly transferred the Ruchika molestation trial from Ambala to Patiala and then to Chandigarh on the request of Rathore, who always expressed an apprehension that he would not get a fair trial. The repeated transfer applications added to the delay in the outcome of the trial.



Rathore’s smirk irks many
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
SPS Rathore’s apparent smirk after being convicted in Ruchika Girhotra molestation case has earned him fire from various feminist organisations across the country. Claiming it to be a mockery of not only the too little punishment awarded to him but also modesty of the deceased, the groups have publicly condemned the act and are set to demand a more severe punishment.

“He was the protector of law. He he not only violated it but also misused his position to ruin a family. When after 19 years of struggle he was convicted, there was no sign of remorse on his face but a smile of triumph? We condemn this attitude and will communicate the same to him. We will also appeal to the National Commission of Women (NCW) to help creating more public opinion against him.” said Ravina Bhasin, a Mumbai-based social activist.

According to many, he smirked at the fact that how weak had the judicial system was in comparison to political power. “We saw the footage on TV. We felt as if he was mocking not only at the judicial system but also at the punishment he had to got for subjecting a teenager to so much of trauma that took her life. We have planned to sent a letter to him condemning his act,” revealed one of the members of a Delhi-based Rajouri.

According to a senior official of the NCW, they had received several such inputs from various feminist groups and might very soon seek a meeting to decide on the steps to be taken to ensure proper justice in case.

“We were shocked to see no remorse on his face for having forced a young girl to take such a step. It was this gesture that made me more determined to get him his due punishment,” Anand Prakash, who fought the case, said.



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