High court defers hearing in Rathore’s case till Tuesday

Chandigarh, May 31 (IANS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday deferred till Tuesday the hearing on the bail petition of former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore, who has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990.

After hearing the arguments, the vacation bench of Justice Ajay Tiwari deferred the case and directed the lawyers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit their reply in connection with Rathore’s appeal.

Rathore’s wife and counsel Abha Rathore was also accompanied by daughter Priyanjali, a lawyer, in the court Monday. Abha had moved a bail petition in the high court May 26, a day after a court convicted him and sent him to the Burail Jail.

‘We are filing our reply in the high court and we will strongly oppose the bail petition,’ CBI lawyer Ajay Kaushik told IANS Monday.

Abha said during arguments Monday: ‘I am ready for the arguments any time. But they (CBI lawyers) are unnecessarily delaying it. It was just the media hype that had affected the court’s verdict in the past.’

Abha also showed a map to the judge displaying the positions of Rathore, Aradhna (lone witness in the case) and Ruchika in Rathore’s office Aug 12, 1990 whe he allegedly molester her.

‘Rathore and Ruchika were sitting across the table. How can he embrace somebody who is sitting so far? Moreover, Aradhna left the room for only a few seconds. There were gunmen outside and glass windows in the room. All previous courts have ignored this map,’ Abha told the judge.

Rathore has sought bail on medical grounds, saying he had undergone a heart surgery and required medical attention.

The former Haryana director general of police was sent to jail Tuesday by the district and sessions court which upheld his conviction in the molestation case by a CBI special court in December last year and enhanced his jail term to 18 months.

Rathore was sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs.1,000 by the CBI special court. He was immediately granted bail then. Rathore filed a plea in January challenging his conviction.