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Rediff.com  » News » Rathore may face charges of abetment to suicide: Moily

Rathore may face charges of abetment to suicide: Moily

December 29, 2009 21:07 IST

The Centre on Tuesday said it was contemplating whether to appeal for enhancing punishment for Rathore or to charge him and others afresh with abetment of suicide.

"There are two points on which we are thinking. The first is to appeal for an enhanced punishment for the accused under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (molestation). The second point is whether to start fresh investigations to see whether Rathore and others could be charged for abetment of suicide under Section 305 or 306 of IPC," said Law Minister M Veerappa Moily.

He said Ruchika was forced out of the school and her brother Ashu handcuffed and kept in police custody for two months. "These are the circumstances which led to the suicide (of Ruchika). There are lots of people involved," he said.

Asked whether others, including police officers and school authorities, would also be charged with abetting Ruchika's suicide, Moily replied in the affirmative.

He pointed out that while Section 305 of the Indian Penal Code dealt with abetment of suicide of a minor, Section 306 dealt with abetment of suicide of a major.

"Under Section 305, the punishment is either life imprisonment or death and under Section 306, the maximum punishment is 10 years imprisonment," he added.

"We will see whether she was a minor or a major when she committed suicide," he added.

The law minister said that after going through the case, he felt the investigation was based only on the charge of molestation and not abetment of suicide. Moily said he had already spoken to the Solicitor General and the ministry would take a final call after going through the details.

Terming the Ruchika case as 'a model case', he said the government would ensure that nobody ever abused the law or bent it to his or her favour using power.

He said he had asked law officers to draft a Sexual Offences (Special Courts) Bill to fast-track cases of sexual offences, which would stipulate that investigation in such cases be completed within 6 months or a year.

"The investigation should not go beyond a year. In any case, the investigation should not go beyond two years," he added.

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