Rathore to spend 18 months in jail

Former Haryana DGP taken into custody immediately after verdict

Rathore to spend 18 months in jail

Former senior police officer SPS Rathore is taken away by Central Bureau of Investigation officials after a sessions court increased his jail term in Ruchika molestation case in Chandigarh on Tuesday. PTI Justice caught up with former Director General of Haryana police, S P S Rathore, 20 years after he molested 14-year year old Ruchika Girhotra, as a local court on Tuesday enhanced his sentence to 18 months from the earlier six and ordered him to be sent to jail immediately.

Sixty eight-year-old Rathore was taken into custody immediately after the verdict and sent to jail.

Ruchika, a budding tennis player, had committed suicide three years after she was molested by Rathore in 1990, when she went to see him in his chamber in his capacity as president of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association.
The family and friends of Ruchika had something to cheer about after the two-decade-long fight when Additional District and Sessions judge, Gurbir Singh, enhanced the prison term of Rathore to 18 months and ordered him to be taken into custody.

“Truth has finally prevailed,” said an ecstatic Madhu Prakash after the verdict. Madhu, her husband, Anand Prakash, and daughter Aradhana, a friend of Ruchika and lone witness in the case, had waged a long battle to bring the influential cop to book.
Even as a pensive Rathore heard the verdict, his lawyer-wife, Abha, put out an application saying her husband was a heart patient and needed medical attention.
The judge said the former DGP would have to go to jail first, and ordered the jail superintendent to get him medically examined after taking him into custody.
Rathore also wanted a copy of the order, which he was told, could be collected later.

Earlier sentence
A CBI court had last year sentenced Rathore to six months in jail, after holding him guilty of molesting Ruchika.While Rathore had appealed against his conviction, the CBI had approached the court for awarding maximum conviction of two years to Rathore.
Alongside the court proceedings, a campaign by the family and friends of Girhotras, aided by civil society, led to the filing of fresh FIRs against Rathore. Inquiries have been initiated against him in cases of abetment to suicide and destruction of evidence.
With moist eyes, a relieved Subhash Girhotra, Ruchika’s father, said, “Our fight will continue. We want to ensure him a 10-year jail term.” He now wants to pursue the case of abetment to suicide against Rathore, saying the former DGP’s persistent harassment of the family had led his daughter to kill herself.

Aradhana, now settled in Sydney was quoted on television as saying, “This verdict has shown that nobody, however high and mighty, can escape justice.”

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