Ruchika effect: All complaints to be FIRs

Govt mulls revocation of awards to convicted officers


The case of molestation of 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra who committed suicide three years after the incident in 1990 sparked a national outrage after the accused ex-Haryana DGP S P S Rathore got away with a lighter six-month jail sentence.
The Home Ministry has decided to issue a circular to the state governments asking them to ensure that all complaints received at police stations are treated as FIRs.
The circular, to be issued next week, will direct state governments and Union Territories to ensure free and total registration of all complaints as FIRs, sources in the Home Ministry said on Monday.

The move came following repeated complaints from public that police often adopted dilly-dallying tactics and showed reluctance to register a FIR immediately on a complaint.

But it assumed urgency following allegations by Ruchika’s family that when they lodged a complaint against Rathore in the molestation case, police initially refused to register an FIR. The police also refused to register a case when Ruchika’s brother was harassed by police on false charges, it was alleged.
The government, in the proposed amendment to the CrPC, wants to make it mandatory for the Station House Officer to give reasons for registration of a case as well as non-registration of case after receiving a complaint. Top government sources said the rules on stripping convicted officers of their medals are likely to be formalised when a high-powered award committee headed by Union Home Secretary G K Pillai meets here on January 4.

School faces heat
In Chandigarh, the school where Ruchika Girhotra studied and was expelled is in the line of fire from public protesters who are seeking to punish all those who created circumstances for her to commit suicide.
A PIL was filed on Monday against the Sacred Heart Girls’ Convent School here seeking action for expelling Ruchika without proper reasons. The victim’s father, Subhash Girhotra, alleged on Sunday that his daughter was expelled after Rathore put pressure on the school.
He said Rathore put pressure on the school for Ruchika’s expulsion for the “comfort of his daughter Priyanjali” as she studied in the same class as Ruchika and felt embarrassed.

The school had taken the plea of non-payment of fees for her expulsion. In Ruchika’s case, the school unceremoniously made her leave the school ostensibly under pressure from Rathore. The school authorities have maintained total silence on the issue.

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