M A I N   N E W S

Rathore files revision plea, hearing tomorrow
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Haryana’s former Director-General of Police SPS Rathore, in jail for molesting his daughter’s class fellow Ruchika Girhotra, stays behind bars - at least for the time being.

Even as his wife-cum-counsel Abha Rathore made unsuccessful attempts to convince the Bench on his cardiac condition, the Punjab and Haryana High Court simply admitted his revision petition, and issued notice to the CBI.

The only saving grace for the disgraced top cop is that Justice Gurdev Singh gave a short date for hearing. Justice Gurdev Singh fixed May 28 for arguments on the petition, while adjourning the case. With this, it is clear that the CBI has just about two days to prepare its case for opposing the plea for the suspension of sentence.

The petition came up for hearing a day after his conviction was upheld and sentenced enhanced by a year. It was filed this morning and fixed for hearing today itself, after Abha Rathore tried to show the urgency on health grounds.

Even before the courts opened up for the day, Abha Rathore reached the courtroom of Justice SS Saron, the senior-most judge on the criminal roster, for “mentioning” the case. At the very onset of the court proceedings, Abha aired health concerns and told the Bench that the orders by the courts below were an aftermath of the media pressure - assertions which found their echo during the subsequent proceedings.

After taking note of the submission around 10.15 am, Justice Saron forwarded the case to the registry, paving way for its hearing on Wednesday itself.

What followed were moments of anxiety for the strong battalion of print and electronic media present on the court premises with outside broadcast vans.

As Abha Rathore maintained her composure, lensmen worked their way up and down the escalator, rushing from one courtroom to another, from one branch to another, in anxiety to find out the court where the case would be heard. Finally, around 2.30 pm, it became clear that the case would come up for hearing before Justice Gurdev Singh.

Around 4.05 pm, Abha Rathore recapped the arguments. She again talked of the media pressure, and added Rathore was undergoing treatment for heart ailment. She asked the court to adjourn the matter for Thursday.

But her request for a day’s notice did not find favour with the Bench, and the case was adjourned for Friday - the last working day before the court goes on a summer break.

Soon after the proceedings, CBI’s counsel Anmol Rattan Singh Sidhu said they would be opposing the plea on Friday, as they wanted Rathore to remain behind bars for the maximum period.

The CBI today complained that level playing filed was not being provided to the premier investigating agency, as Abha Rathore had not provided them with the revision petition’s copy. In the petition, Rathore has asserted the impugned judgment was “perverse on account of misreading of evidence”. Rathore claimed the judgment was based on surmises and conjectures; and the former top cop was convicted without examining the defence evidence.She added the judgments delivered by the courts below were influenced by the media hype created by the publication of all kinds of lies and false statements by a coterie of motivated persons. The hate campaign was launched by highly interested prosecution witnesses, particularly Aradhana, Anand Parkash, Madhu and SC Girhotra. Aradhana was wrongly taken to be an eyewitness; and “the only motivation of SC Girhotra has been greed for money





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