'Law for speedy probe soon'

'Law for speedy probe soon'

The Centre has sprung up to “rescue” the case, besides pressing a case of abetment of suicide of a minor against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore. Nobody can “subvert the rule of law”, Law Minister Veerappa Moily said on Tuesday.

“This could be a model case, where we will have to demonstrate to the entire country that the rule of law is utmost, and it will apply to everybody, and rule will have to be properly demonstrated. That is the will power of the nation,” Moily told a private news channel on Ruchika’s 16th death anniversary.

Skeletons had tumbled out from the cupboards of successive chief ministers—Hukum Singh (JD), Bhajan Lal (Congress), Om Prakash Chautala (INLD) and Bansi Lal (Haryana Vikas Party)––who not only overlooked the recommendations of the state home secretary and the DGP for action against Rathore but also continued to protect and  promote him.

The CBI shifted its joint director who was to book Rathore under the harsher section relating to abetment of Ruchika’s suicide. The facts that have emerged following the public outcry confirm police and politicians and even the school authorities having acted almost as “outlaws”.

Ruchika’s school also acted hand-in-glove with Rathore and his benefactors by expelling her, levelling the false charge of failure to pay school fees. All these factors, including harassment by Rathore’s men and no hope of justice, drove the budding tennis player to suicide, three years after her molestation in 1990.

The Centre has recommended that Rathore be divested of the President’s medal. Rathore was awarded the medal despite his poor track record including the dubious distinction of being placed under suspension in another case.

The law minister on Tuesday, however, felt the harassment of Ruchika, her brother and family should be the basis of the probe and the trial.

“In fact, the first case was when an attempt was made to molest the girl. The case seems to have been built on that basis. But she died. All the harassment made to her, (her) brother, of her (being) taken out from school leading to her death...The right case is under Article 305 (of the Indian Penal Code) which is about the abetment of suicide of a minor,” said Moily.

The punishment under Article 305 is a life sentence. Moily said the authorities who subverted the law to favour Rathore may also face charges of abetment to suicide.
The law minister said learning from the experience in the case, a more stringent law for faster trial for sexual offences would be enforced.

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