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Rediff.com  » News » Ruchika's family has a shady background: Rathore's wife

Ruchika's family has a shady background: Rathore's wife

Last updated on: January 01, 2010 15:19 IST

SPS Rathore, who molested 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra in 1990, was on Friday granted anticipatory bail by the sessions court in Panchkula . 

Ruchika had committed suicide a few years after the incident, following the arrest of her brother on false charges and continuous harassment by the police.

Rathore is facing arrest after Ruchika's father Subhash Chander Girhotra and her brother Ashu filed new FIRs against him, regarding alleged tampering of the post-mortem report by the police and harassment of Ashu, including an attempt to murder him.

The court has scheduled the next hearing for January 7. The court stated that it had granted interim anticipatory bail to the former director general of police of Haryana based on 'prima facie grounds'.

The former DGP was not present in the court.

The order was passed by District and Sessions Judge S P Singh after hearing Abha Rathore, the lawyer-wife of 67-year-old Rathore, and Pankaj Bharadwaj, counsel for the family of Ruchika.

While issuing notice to the state for January 6, the Judge observed, "If the petitioner (Rathore) is arrested during this period, he will be released on interim bail".

Seeking anticipatory bail, Abha countered the charges of slapping false cases against Ruchika's brother, attempting to murder him and doctoring the post-mortem report of the girl. The FIRs were registered after Ruchika's father Subhash Chander Girhotra and brother Ashu filed two complaints.

Rathore was sentenced to six months imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 1000. Abha argued in the court that Girhotra, his son Ashu and the family of Madhu Parkash, complainant in the case, wanted to become 'heroes and heroines in the eyes of the public. Madhu Parkash has fabricated and interpolated facts'.

The charge under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (abetment to suicide) being leveled now by Ruchika's brother has been settled at the level of the Supreme Court, she said, and submitted a copy of the apex court judgment.

"After 16-17 years, the Girhotra and Parkash families are raising this issue," she said, adding that the two fresh FIRs lodged this week against Rathore mostly had bailable offences, barring a few which are not bailable.

Countering Abha Rathore's arguments, Girhotra's family lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj alleged outside the court, "To drive a girl to commit suicide after such an incident, and after 9 years the FIR sees the light of the day, what kind of justice or system are you talking about?"

In its order, the court directed Rathore not to leave the country without its permission. "Petitioner shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat of promise to any person acquainted with the fact to the court or any police officer," it said.

"The interim bail shall remain in force till January 7," the court said.

"The petitioner, if arrested by the police till January 7 under the two FIRs would be released on interim bail on furnishing bail bonds of Rs one lakh with one surety of the like amount in each case to the satisfaction of the arresting officer," the judge said.

Rathore shall make himself available for investigation in connection with the two cases if the police directs him to join the investigations, Singh said.

Aradhana, the sole witness to the molestation of Ruchika in 1990, said the order of the court was 'pretty expected'. During arguments, Abha, the wife and counsel of Rathore, denied the allegations being leveled by Ruchika's father, brother and the family of Madhu Parkash, mother of sole eye witness Aradhana.

Asked whether the development was a setback to the case against Rathore, Pankaj Bhardwaj, lawyer for Ruchika Girhotra's family, expressed the hope that they will be able to expose the truth at the next date of hearing on January 7.

"So far, we have not got any opportunity to present our case," he said. Bharadwaj said he will oppose Rathore's bail at the next date. "We are hopeful of getting justice," he said.

Arguing the case in court, Abha said that Girhotra, his son Ashu and the Madhu Parkash family "want to become heroes and heroines in the eyes of the public. Madhu Parkash has fabricated and interpolated facts".

The charge under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (abetment to suicide) being leveled now by Ruchika's brother has been settled at the level of the Supreme Court, she said, and submitted a copy of the apex court judgment.

"After 16-17 years, the Girhotra and Parkash families are raising this issue," she said contending that the two fresh FIRs lodged this week against Rathore mostly had bailable offences, barring a few which are nor bailable.

"Anand Parkash had a bad service record," Abha claimed while submitting that there were corruption charges registered against him.

"Now they are becoming heroes of the media," she said.

Referring to the role of former Ambala SP K P Singh, she said that the then district police chief, of which Panchkula was a part in the 1990s, had stated that Rathore was not his supervisory officer.

"ASI Sewa Singh (another policeman named by the Girhotra family) never wrote on record that Rathore pressurised him or he had ever talked to him regarding this case," she said.

Abha said the Girhotra family was now suggesting that Ashu was harassed and victimised at Rathore's behest, which is totally false.

"Investigating officers in the case were never pressurised by Rathore," she claimed.

She said that Girhotra gave a statement in Chandigarh court in 2005, a day prior to Ruchika's death and also in 1991, that he had married a woman named Veena.

"Ruchika used to be left alone at home. They (Girhotra and Veena) used to go out of the house, locking Ruchika at home," she said. A

bha said that even a day prior to Ruchika's death on December 29, 1993, the couple had gone to a temple and returned home late at night.

"Due to step-motherly treatment, Ashu lost moral control and he took to auto theft. Now they are making contrary statements regarding the existence of Veena," she alleged.

Referring to discrepancies being pointed out by the complainant in the inquest proceedings conducted at the time of the death of Ruchika, Abha said Girhotra himself mentioned his name as Subhash Chander Girhotra and Ruchika's name as Ruby.

 "Now they are raising questions about this and saying that the changes were made at the behest of Rathore," she said.

Abha said Ashu's statement was recorded in Patiala court also, but he had not raised the issue of attempt to murder.

"Now all of a sudden, he is making the statement before the media," she said. "Parkash family and Girhotra family are making all these statements on oral evidence which cannot stand in any court of law," Abha said.

Abha alleged, "Due to so much media hype and media trials going on in the case, all allegations are targeted against Rathore. They (Anand Parkash and Girhotra families) are people with shady background and I am saying this with responsibility."

She said that Girhotra himself had taken his daughter Ruchika to the PGI in Chandigarh after she attempted suicide.

"Now they are saying that the post mortem report was also doctored at Rathore's behest which is totally wrong," she said, adding that Girhotra did not inform the Panchkula police before taking his daughter to the PGI in Chandigarh.

Claimed that Abha said Girhotra and his son Ashu have slapped charges under various sections including 357, 358, 468, 195-A and 307 of the Indian Penal Code relating to various offences, including use of criminal force, forgery, forgery with purpose of cheating, cheating or inducing a person to give false statement, attempt to murder and illegal confinement, which have all been denied.

She claimed that Ashu was not kept in illegal custody by the police (at Rathore's behest) as he was under legal confinement after registration of cases against him.

"We are not afraid to face any enquiry. We will come out clean. It is a trial which is being conducted by the media. We want that an enquiry should be held so that truth comes out like it has come out in the case of Ruchika's school," Abha said.

She said that the Parkash and Girhotra families were saying that Ruchika was expelled under Rathore's pressure, but the school has made it clear that her name was struck off the rolls due to the non-payment of fees.  

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