Ruchika case: HC issues notice to Centre, CBI, Rathore

Ruchika case: HC issues notice to Centre, CBI, Rathore

Aradhna Gupta holds a portrait of Ruchika outside the Girhotra residence in Panchkula. File photo AFPThe notices were issued by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Moudgil and Justice Jasbir Singh to the Union of India, the state of Haryana, CBI and Rathore on the PIL filed by an NGO, Global Human Rights Council through its Chairman Ranjan Lakhanpal, a local practicing lawyer. The notices are returnable on January 27.

The PIL submitted said that certain aspects in the Ruchika molestation case needed to be probed so that the family of the victim got justice and the accused, especially those holding high positions, were brought to book.

The PIL comes in the backdrop of the public uproar after 67-year-old Rathore got away with a light punishment of six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 for molesting the 14-year-old girl.

The NGO sought a thorough probe into the case, including the circumstances leading to the suicide of Ruchika three years after her molestation by Rathore in 1990, besides booking of her brother Ashu in false cases, including dacoity.

The Sacred Heart School, which had expelled Ruchika on the ground of non-payment of fees, is among the respondents in the PIL. The court, however, has not issued any notice to the school.

"When the minor was weeping, the school instead of giving her a shoulder expelled her on flimsy ground for non-payment of school fees," Lakhanpal alleged in the PIL.

"The school was equally responsible for the circumstances which led Ruchika to commit suicide three years after her molestation by a senior IPS officer of Haryana," Lakhanpal alleged.

He further alleged that the school had probably taken the action against Ruchika under pressure of Rathore whose daughter was also studying in the same class.

The PIL demanded action against all those people "responsible" for the delay in the investigation in the molestation case and those who were involved in the alleged torture of Ruchika's brother Ashu and registration of cases against him.

The petitioner pleaded that the high court should lay down guidelines for taking action in such cases so that the accused are brought to justice.

The petition also sought enhancement of the punishment awarded to Rathore, a 1995 batch IPS officer, who retired in 2002.

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