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Rathore gets 18 months jail term, arrested

By The Assam Tribune

CHANDIGARH, May 25 (IANS) - Disgraced former Haryana police chief SPS Rathore was today arrested after a court enhanced his jail sentence from six months to 18 months in the August 1990 molestation of teenager Ruchika Girhotra.

Rathore, 68, was taken into custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) soon after the district and sessions court rejected his appeal against his December 2009 conviction in a CBI special court.

Additional district and sessions judge Gurbir Singh said that Rathore should be taken into custody and taken to the Burail prison here immediately.

This is the first time in over 19 years that Rathore has been formally arrested in the Ruchika molestation case.

"We are very happy. Justice has been done. But our fight to get him even more punishment for abetment of suicide (of Ruchika) will continue. We are all very happy. We cannot bring Ruchika back now but today her soul will rest in peace," Ruchika's father SC Girhotra told IANS after the verdict.

"This shows that no one is above the law. Even a powerful person like him can be punished," Girhotra added.

Rathore's wife and senior lawyer Abha Rathore and other lawyers defending him immediately surrounded Rathore inside the court even as Ruchika's father, main complainants in the case Anand and Madhu Prakash and their lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj rushed out of the court to announce the judgment to the media waiting outside the court complex.

Rathore's wife pleaded with the judge that he (Rathore) had undergone heart bypass surgery and should be allowed bail. However, the judge ordered that Rathore be arrested and taken to Burail prison here and the documents regarding his medical condition be given to the jail superintendent.

The CBI had opposed Rathore's plea and had sought an enhancement of his sentence from six months to the maximum of two years.

Rathore, who left Tuesday afternoon for the court from his bungalow in Panchkula's upscale Sector 6, 15 km from here, was beaming and waved to media camerapersons waiting outside his house.

Dressed in a white striped shirt and trousers with a tie and black sun-shades, he folded his hands as his Tata Indica car passed the waiting media.

The court had earlier deferred the verdict on May 20 till Tuesday (May 25).

Judge Singh had heard the arguments in the matter continuously on day-to-day basis for eight days earlier May.

The order of the court came after Rathore, a former director general of police (DGP) in Haryana, filed a plea January this year challenging his conviction December last year by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court here for molesting 15-year-old Ruchika Aug 12, 1990.

Ruchika committed suicide three years after Rathore molested her in Panchkula town, adjoining Chandigarh, nearly two decades ago.

Rathore was sentenced to six months' rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1,000 by the CBI special court. However, he was immediately granted bail.

Ruchika's father told IANS: "We had produced enough evidence before the investigating agencies and the court of Rathore's involvement in the molestation case and also the subsequent events."

"We will continue our fight against him (Rathore) for his involvement in the abetment to suicide case of Ruchika. We want bigger punishment for him," Girhotra added.

Anand Parkash, main complainant in this case, said: "We are expecting maximum jail-term for Rathore. He deserves no mercy from any quarter and we have full belief in Indian judiciary."

Anand Parkash's daughter Aradhna, who has now migrated to Australia, was the only eyewitness in this case.

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Rathore gets 18 months jail term, arrested

CHANDIGARH, May 25 (IANS) - Disgraced former Haryana police chief SPS Rathore was today arrested after a court enhanced his jail sentence from six months to 18 months in the August 1990 molestation of teenager Ruchika Girhotra.

Rathore, 68, was taken into custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) soon after the district and sessions court rejected his appeal against his December 2009 conviction in a CBI special court.

Additional district and sessions judge Gurbir Singh said that Rathore should be taken into custody and taken to the Burail prison here immediately.

This is the first time in over 19 years that Rathore has been formally arrested in the Ruchika molestation case.

"We are very happy. Justice has been done. But our fight to get him even more punishment for abetment of suicide (of Ruchika) will continue. We are all very happy. We cannot bring Ruchika back now but today her soul will rest in peace," Ruchika's father SC Girhotra told IANS after the verdict.

"This shows that no one is above the law. Even a powerful person like him can be punished," Girhotra added.

Rathore's wife and senior lawyer Abha Rathore and other lawyers defending him immediately surrounded Rathore inside the court even as Ruchika's father, main complainants in the case Anand and Madhu Prakash and their lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj rushed out of the court to announce the judgment to the media waiting outside the court complex.

Rathore's wife pleaded with the judge that he (Rathore) had undergone heart bypass surgery and should be allowed bail. However, the judge ordered that Rathore be arrested and taken to Burail prison here and the documents regarding his medical condition be given to the jail superintendent.

The CBI had opposed Rathore's plea and had sought an enhancement of his sentence from six months to the maximum of two years.

Rathore, who left Tuesday afternoon for the court from his bungalow in Panchkula's upscale Sector 6, 15 km from here, was beaming and waved to media camerapersons waiting outside his house.

Dressed in a white striped shirt and trousers with a tie and black sun-shades, he folded his hands as his Tata Indica car passed the waiting media.

The court had earlier deferred the verdict on May 20 till Tuesday (May 25).

Judge Singh had heard the arguments in the matter continuously on day-to-day basis for eight days earlier May.

The order of the court came after Rathore, a former director general of police (DGP) in Haryana, filed a plea January this year challenging his conviction December last year by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court here for molesting 15-year-old Ruchika Aug 12, 1990.

Ruchika committed suicide three years after Rathore molested her in Panchkula town, adjoining Chandigarh, nearly two decades ago.

Rathore was sentenced to six months' rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1,000 by the CBI special court. However, he was immediately granted bail.

Ruchika's father told IANS: "We had produced enough evidence before the investigating agencies and the court of Rathore's involvement in the molestation case and also the subsequent events."

"We will continue our fight against him (Rathore) for his involvement in the abetment to suicide case of Ruchika. We want bigger punishment for him," Girhotra added.

Anand Parkash, main complainant in this case, said: "We are expecting maximum jail-term for Rathore. He deserves no mercy from any quarter and we have full belief in Indian judiciary."

Anand Parkash's daughter Aradhna, who has now migrated to Australia, was the only eyewitness in this case.