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In-camera hearings in two pleas related to the molestation of teenager Ruchika Girhotra molestation started in a district and sessions court here Monday.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Shekhar Attri said proceedings in the case, slated to be held continuously Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, will be held in-camera.

Media and other people not connected with the case were asked to leave the court room.

The court is hearing two matters, one related to the appeal filed by disgraced former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore against his conviction for molestation by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court and second, the application moved by CBI seeking enhancement of Rathore’s sentence from six months to two years of rigorous imprisonment.

The CBI special court held Rathore guilty Dec 21 for molesting 15-year-old Ruchika, a budding tennis player, in Panchkula town Aug 12, 1990.

He was sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs.1,000 in the 19-year-old molestation case. Rathore was granted bail immediately after his conviction.

In its appeal before the court, the CBI had strongly opposed the excuse of old age given by Rathore’s counsel and demanded a sentence of up to two years.

Conviction under Section 354 (molestation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides for a maximum punishment of two years.

In the enhancement appeal, the CBI said Rathore did not act in the spur of the moment and his action was “pre-planned”. It was also mentioned in the appeal that Rathore had unleashed a reign of terror on witnesses.

Last month, Rathore had filed an appeal against his conviction in the district court. After hearing Rathore’s appeal, the court had extended his post-conviction bail till Monday.

He was asked not to leave the country and deposit his passport with the court.

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