Haryana fails to file reply in Ruchika case

In the public interest litigation (PIL) filed on December 29, Ranjan Lakhanpal, who is also a senior lawyer, had sought that former Haryana police chief S P S Rathore be charged under Section 305 (abetment of suicide of a minor) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) since he allegedly drove Ruchika to commit suicide in 1993.

Rathore was convicted on December 21 by a CBI special court here for molesting the budding tennis player on August 12, 1990, in Haryana’s Panchkula town, 10 km from here. He was awarded a six-month jail term but was immediately granted bail.

During the last hearing on January 7, the court issued notices to the Haryana government and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and told them to submit their reply on Lakhanpal’s petition in 10 days.

However, the Haryana government’s lawyer sought two months’ time from the court on Wednesday to submit their reply.

On this, the high court bench consisting of Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh pulled up the state government and expressed displeasure.

The matter will be heard by the high court on February 4.

However, the CBI filed its reply in connection to the PIL. “In our reply we have given a detailed account of the CBI’s investigation. Like we said, the CBI registered the case in 2000 and then we also mentioned about the court’s proceedings and our probe in our reply,” Ajay Kaushik, the CBI’s lawyer, said.

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