The Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday adjourned till July 1 the hearing on the revision petition and bail plea of former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore, convicted for the 1990 molestation of teenager Ruchika Girhotra.
There were no arguments in the court Tuesday and despite the repeated requests of Rathore’s wife and counsel Abha Rathore to take up the case on priority, Justice Jitendra Chauhan adjourned the case till July 1.
Rathore, 68, was convicted for molesting Ruchika in 1990 at neighbouring Panchkula town. She committed suicide three years later.
He was sentenced to 18 months rigorous imprisonment by the district and sessions court of Chandigarh last month and has been lodged in high-security Burail jail here since May 25.
Earlier, the vacation bench of the high court had June 4 adjourned the case till June 29 and referred it to an appropriate bench.
However, Rathore’s case kept shuttling between different courts Tuesday. His bail petition was listed in the court of Justice Rajan Gupta and revision petition was listed in the court of Justice Jitendra Chauhan.
When Abha Rathore reached the court of Justice Gupta she was informed that no case related to Rathore was listed there. But she pleaded that her case was at serial number one. When the judge got the records checked it was found that it had been cancelled from the list of cases.
Then Abha Rathore, accompanied by her lawyer daughter Priyanjali and sister, appeared before Justice Chauhan who said that he could not take up the bail plea as there was no such intimation.
Later, she went to the court of Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Mukul Mudgal. She pleaded before the bench of chief justice and Justice Ajay Tewari that there was some confusion on the hearing of Rathore’s bail plea.
“There is some confusion going on regarding the hearing of bail plea of Rathore. Initially, it was listed in the court of Justice Gupta but it was cancelled as the judge was earlier the counsel of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in various cases. I also went to the court of Justice Chauhan and he also did not take up the case for hearing,” said Abha Rathore.
Then the case was listed in the court of Justice Chauhan who adjourned the hearing till July 1.
Rathore was sent to jail after the district and sessions court upheld his conviction in the molestation case by a CBI special court in December last year. The court also enhanced his jail term from six months 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. He filed a plea in January challenging his conviction.