Probe report into Ruchika's expulsion from school on Thursday

The probe is being conducted by Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Prerna Puri, whose report will subsequently be sent to the administration of the union territory of Chandigarh, said Chandigarh's home and education secretary Ram Niwas.
“The inquiry officer will submit the report by tomorrow evening and subsequently we will send it to the UT administrator. The investigation has reached its last stages and right now I am not in a position to divulge any details about the findings,”  Niwas told reporters.
“Once the report is out, we will ourselves make it public and strict action will be taken against those who will be proved guilty.”

Ruchika, who was in Class 10 at the time, was expelled from the leading all girls'  Sacred Heart senior secondary school for unexplained reasons just a month after the molestation on Aug 12, 1990.

According to a spokesperson of the school, governed by the Chandigarh-Shimla diocese,  Ruchika's fees had not been paid for six months -- from April to September 1990. Her name was therefore not carried on the school register in October and she herself stopped coming to school.

However, sources say that the administration is likely to nail school authorities for their dubious role in the expulsion. "I had myself gone to submit the fees of my daughter but school authorities refused to accept it. They were working under the pressure of Rathore and spoilt my daughter's life," Ruchika's father S.C. Girhotra told reporters.

The SDM's report was to be submitted on Monday and has been delayed by three days.

Explained Niwas: “Our officials could not compile the report in time as the earlier principal of the school was not available because she had gone on leave. Moreover, our investigation team had to check and verify almost two-decade-old school records and this process obviously takes time.”

The SDM had questioned school principal Sister Sebastina, Ruchika's class teacher, some old and present staff members, the complainant Madhu Prakash and her daughter Aradhana,  the lone eyewitness in the molestation case.

The complainant has said Rathore got Ruchika expelled to save his own daughter from embarrassment.  A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Chandigarh had on Dec 21 held Rathore guilty of molesting 15-year-old Ruchika and sentenced him to a six-month prison term. Rathore was immediately granted bail.

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