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Ruchika case: Rathore's sentence enhanced, sent to jail

Last updated on: May 25, 2010 18:24 IST
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Disgraced ex-Haryana director general of police SPS Rathore was on Tuesday jailed after he was arrested for the first time, shortly after a sessions court enhanced his prison term to 18 months for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra 20 years ago.

Pronouncing the verdict in a packed court room, Additional District and Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh dismissed the appeal filed by Rathore, 68, challenging the six month rigorous imprisonment, after he was convicted of molesting the 14-year-old budding tennis player.

Ruchika committed suicide three years after the incident by consuming poison.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and Ruchika's family had also filed petitions seeking enhancement of the sentence to maximum two years. Rathore, who has been stripped of the President's Police medal after his conviction, was taken into custody by the CBI within the court premises itself, after he refused to move out after the pronouncement of the enhanced sentence.

Though the pronouncement was made at 2.15 pm, he kept sitting in the court room, with his wife and counsel Abha moving an application seeking a copy of the judgment.

The court directed that Rathore be taken to the local Burail Jail immediately after which he was taken into custody by the CBI. After the sentencing, Rathore looked grim and his smirk was missing. But he put up a brave face by telling reporters, "I will keep smiling".

The CBI personnel took him out of the court premises at nearly 3.20 pm and headed for the Burail Jail in a white Tavera vehicle. He entered the jail through its massive iron gate at nearly 3.35 pm and in all likelihood will spend the night there.

His wife Abha was not present when Rathore entered the jail as she stayed behind in the district court.

The quantum of the earlier sentence had sparked an outrage in the country. Rathore had sought the setting aside of the trial court verdict against him while Ruchika's family and the CBI had pleaded for enhancement of punishment to the maximum of two years provided in the law.

The court directed the jail superintendent to provide proper medical care to Rathore, if required, following an application by his lawyer-wife Abha that he was a heart patient and required care. The court allowed Rathore's plea for getting himself examined at the cardiac care department of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical EducationĀ and Research.

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