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High Court Grants Interim Bail To Rathore

PTI January 25, 2010 16:19 IST

In a reprieve for disgraced former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday granted him interim bail in two fresh FIRs levelling serious criminal charges against him in the Ruchika molestation case.

Justice Sabina referred to a division bench the plea of 68-year-old Rathore seeking quashing of the third FIR accusing him of abetment to suicide under section 306 IPC as an important question of law was involved.  

The judge also directed the CBI to give Rathore, who was last month awarded six months of jail term for molesting budding tennis player Ruchika Girhotra in 1990, four days notice if it wanted to arrest or interrogate him in connection with the third FIR. 

Hearing on Rathore's two petitions seeking anticipatory bail in the first two FIRs registered on the complaints of Ruchika's father Subhash Chander Girhotra and brother Ashu levelling serious criminal charges including attempt to murder and forging of documents has been adjourned to February 15. CBI counsel Anmol Rattan Sidhu sought three weeks time for a reply since the agency has to undertake a big exercise to dig out the record of 19 years.

Referring to Rathore s counsel Randeep Rai's submission that the CBI should not use coercive methods against the former IPS officer during interrogation, Sidhu said, "Our reputation is not known for using coercive methods."  He said the CBI apprehends that Rathore can use his influence.

"We have to re-examine the record of past 19 years. We have to investigate the total record," he said, adding "cooperation word is unknown in Rathore s dictionary".  The CBI also sought some more time to investigate the three fresh FIRs cases. "Rathore's mere joining the investigation will not serve the purpose," he added. 

Rathore's Counsel Rai, who was assisted by former DGP's lawyer-wife Abha, said the charge under section 306 stands adjudicated at the level of the High Court and the Supreme Court.   "We are praying for interim relief in the matter," Rai said to which the judge responded by saying "but you have not made any prayer for this."  Rai said, "We have challenged the very genesis of this FIR under section 306 IPC.

The matter stands adjudicated till the level of the Supreme Court."  He said Rathore would join the investigation as and when required.  Moreover, the CBI during its investigation earlier (in nineties) had said that charge under section 306 IPC was not attracted and no case was filed against the former DGP for this offence, he said. PTI