M A I N   N E W S

Rathore to lose police medal
Home Ministry to have the power to withdraw medals from all convicted cops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
The Union Home Ministry today decided to strip former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore of his President’s Police Medal following his conviction in the Ruchika molestation case.

The Central Police Awards Committee (CPAC) headed by Union Home Secretary GK Pillai decided to strip Rathore of his President’s Police Medal awarded in 1985 for “meritorious service”. The committee also took a decision to authorise the Home Ministry to recommend withdrawal of police medals from all persons convicted for moral turpitude or any act that brought disrespect to the police force, or any officer who was dismissed from the service for his act that brought disrepute to the police, Pillai told reporters here this evening.

With this decision, suspended IPS officer RK Sharma, convicted in the journalist Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, will also stand to lose his medal along with some other police officers.

Sources said the rule would apply only in cases of medals for “meritorious” and “distinguished” service. It would not apply to gallantry awards like the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry.

The committee’s hands were strengthened as Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda wrote a letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram recommending that the police medal given to Rathore be taken back. Sources in Haryana confirmed that Hooda’s letter said that Rathore had brought “disrepute and bad name” to the state and the police force. The letter also mentioned about “moral turpitude” on the part of Rathore in the case, source added.

Rathore was convicted for molesting 15-year-old Ruchika Girhotra in August, 1990, and sentenced to six-month imprisonment on December 21, 2009.

Hooda is understood to have rejected the view of top administrative and police officials, who appeared reluctant to book Rathore. He is learnt to have given clear instructions on the matter that law should take its course. Hooda is also said to be clear that the investigation of the fresh case should be handed over to the CBI.

Separately, the Congress has hailed the decision of the government to withdraw medal from Rathore. “We support the decision. This is in the domain of the government,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here. Describing the Ruchika molestation case as a “serious issue”, Singhvi said, “On the one hand there is such a tragedy, on the other hand he (Rathore) gets the medal.” He said the state government had recommended the case to the Centre.



LS Speaker expresses concern over Ruchika case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today expressed deep concern on the delayed justice to Ruchika Girhotra, allegedly molested 19 years ago by top Haryana cop SPS Rathore.

Seeking adequate legal protection for the girl, who committed suicide, and her family, which has since been engaged in a never-ending battle for justice, Kumar said such incidents needed to be prevented at all costs and the right message should be sent to the guilty.



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