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Govt Decides To Strip Rathore Of Police Medal

PTI 04 Jan 2010, 20:45:11 PM IST

The government on Monday decided to strip former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore of his police medal as it put in place a mechanism for automatic withdrawl of such decorations to convicted officers.  

The decision was taken at a meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary G K Pillai.  Medals and similar honours are given to police officers by the President on the recommendation of the government. Once such a decision is taken (to strip an officer of his medal) the recommendations are then sent to the President, sources said. 

With this decision, suspended IPS officer R K Sharma, convicted in the journalist Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, will also stand to lose his medal. 

Earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda recommended withdrawal of the Police medal of Rathore who has been convicted in the Ruchika molestation case. 

In a letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Hooda had said Rathore has brought "disrepute and bad name" to the state and the police force. 

The letter also mentioned "moral turpitude" on the part of Rathore in the case.  Rathore was awarded the police medal for meritorious service in 1985.

Meanwhile, Madhu Parkash, the complainant in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, on Monday  welcomed the Centre's decision to withdraw police medals to officers who have been convicted by courts. 

Madhu, the mother of sole witness Aradhna, told PTI, "The decision (to withdraw police medals of convicted officers) is a very good step of the Centre and I am very happy on it. A ray of hope has arisen due to this decision." 

"My struggle (to get justice for Ruchika and her family) has started showing results. I am hopeful that our case (against former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore) will soon reach its logical end," she said.

"The decision shows that the Centre has started becoming serious in dealing with matters related to crimes against women," she said, adding the step should have been taken earlier. 

Madhu said the Centre should take steps to set-up Fast Track Courts for dealing with cases related to women, including those of dowry, abetment to suicide, rape and molestation. 

Madhu's husband Anand Parkash told reporters, "Yet it is encouraging news. Now criminal people are losing support." 

Family counsel Pankaj Bhardwaj said the decision of the Centre showed that crimes against women will be taken seriously.

Congress on Monday  hailed the decision of the government to withdraw the medal of former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore who has been convicted in the Ruchika molestation case. 

"We support it (the decision to strip Rathore of medal). This is in the domain of the government," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters in New Delhi. 

Describing the Ruchika molestation case as a "serious issue", Singhvi said, "On one hand there is such a tragedy, on the other hand he (Rathore) gets the medal". 

He said the state government had recommended the case to the Centre. PTI