Ruchika case: Rathore's bail plea hearing today

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Chandigarh, Feb 8 (ANI): The Punjab and Haryana High Court will on Monday hear the bail plea of former Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) SPS Rathore against the six-months sentence and conviction in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.

The CBI had on Thursday filed an appeal in the district and sessions court for enhancing the sentence of Rathore.

In the appeal, the CBI has questioned the leniency shown to Rathore and the short sentence given to him, which had allowed him to get bail immediately after the orders were pronounced.

As per provisions of law, the maximum punishment for molestation under Section 354 is a jail term of two years.

However, Rathore, who retired as Haryana's DGP in 2002 has asked the abetment of suicide charges be cancelled against him as the Supreme Court had rejected it in the past.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also issued a show-cause notice to Sacred Heart Convent School, Sector 26, on the basis of the magisterial inquiry conducted by the Chandigarh Administration into the school's role in the expulsion of Ruchika Girhotra.

The CBSE has threatened the school management with withdrawing its affiliation, if the authorities fail to provide an answer.

The Board has given 30 days time to the school authorities to reply to its notice.

The High Court had on January 18 extended the two anticipatory bail applications and a petition demanding cancellation of abetment to suicide charges against Rathore till January 25.

The High Court had earlier on January 12 rejected the interim bail plea of Rathore, and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file its reply in this case by January 18.

The CBI had on January 12 taken over the case and begun its investigation into all the three fresh FIRs filed against Rathore, leveling various allegations, including attempt to murder, abetment to suicide and doctoring the post mortem report and other documents.

The former cop has been charged for allegedly molesting 14-year old teenager Ruchika Girhotra, a budding young tennis star in 1990s.

Rathore has three cases pending against him in the court; all filed by Ruchika's family and friends.

Ruchika's family lawyer Pankaj Bharadwaj had earlier filed two FIRs against Rathore.

The lawyer had claimed that the first FIR was filed for forging documents like the inquest report and the other for illegal detention of Ruchika's brother, Ashu, who was kept in illegal detention at the behest of Rathore and given tortures.

The third case is that of abetment to suicide against him. The family has claimed that Ruchika was expelled from Sacred Heart Convent in Chandigarh due to Rathore's influence.

Teenager Ruchika had killed herself three years after the incident by drinking poison.

The CBI is investigating whether Rathore drove Ruchika to suicide after she filed molestation charges.

An inquiry by the Chandigarh administration has found that Ruchika was unfairly expelled from her school in 1990. The report also concluded that the expulsion took place under pressure from 'an external influence'.

The Special CBI court had earlier held the former cop guilty under Section 354 IPC and sentenced him to six months imprisonment and had imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on him. (ANI)

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