The Punjab and Haryana High Court Wednesday dismissed an appeal filed by disgraced former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore against his conviction and sentence of 18 months’ jail by a court here in the 1990 Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.
Justice Jitender Chauhan, in a stinging remark, said that Rathore’s conduct was ‘shameful’ and he did not deserve any leniency.
The court also observed that ‘Rathore should have acted as a protector and not as a predator’.
Ironically, Rathore’s appeal against his conviction, by the district and sessions court here, was dismissed on a day when he completed 100 days in Chandigarh’s high-security Burail jail.
The high court also dismissed his plea seeking his release on probation from the prison.
Rathore, 68, was sentenced to 18 months’ rigorous imprisonment by the district and sessions court of Chandigarh May 25 and he had filed a revision petition challenging the sentence.
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 in Panchkula town, 15 km from here.
Ruchika, a budding tennis player, committed suicide three years after she and her family were subjected to harassment by the Haryana police at the behest of Rathore, a powerful police officer in the state.
Ruchika’s lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj told reporters after Wednesday’s high court order: ‘The high court has dismissed Rathore’s petition for revision of his conviction.’
‘His plea for release on probation has also been dismissed. The sentence (given by the sessions court) has been upheld. The court has refused to grant any relief to him,’ he said.
Anand Prakash, father of Ruchika’s friend and witness Aradhana, who fought the case against Rathore for the last two decades, said he was satisfied with the high court’s dismissal of Rathore’s appeal.
‘This decision proves that the law is supreme. This shows that no one is above the law in this country. The court said that the evidence given by Aradhana was perfect and there was no flaw in it,’ he said.