Rathore Fails To Get Interim Stay From High Court
Disgraced ex-Haryana DGP SPS Rathore on Tuesday failed to get any interim protection against arrest from the Punjab and Haryana High Court which asked the CBI to give its response on January 18 to his anticipatory bail pleas in FIRs containing serious criminal charges.
The High Court order came even as a local court admitted an appeal by Rathore against his conviction by a CBI court for molesting 14-year-old schoolgirl Ruchika Girhotra 19 years ago. The appeal will come up for hearing before Additional District and Sessions Judge R S Attri on Wednesday .
The CBI also took over the probe into the three fresh FIRs against 67-year-old Rathore, who got away with a lighter sentence of six-month imprisonment awarded by the CBI court.
At the High Court, Justice Sabina issued the notice to the CBI regarding stay in the event of Rathore's arrest after the investigating agency sought a week's time to file its reply on his anticipatory bail plea in the two fresh FIRs since the cases were transferred from the Haryana Police to them only last evening. The court will hear the case next on January 18.
Rathore also sought quashing of a third FIR which charges him with abetment to suicide in the Ruchika molestation case.
Rathore's lawyer-wife Abha sought some interim protection against arrest till the time CBI files its reply but the court did not issue any direction in this regard. He was not presentin the court.
CBI's counsel Assistant Solicitor General and Special Public Prosecutor Anmol Rattan Sidhu said that in the FIRs the charges against the former DGP are like a reign of terror let loose.
Abha, who has been lashing out at the media during various hearings at the High Court and in Panchkula court earlier, however, countered the argument against her husband saying that a "reign of terror has been let loose by the media. They are present outside our house all the time and have been chasing us everywhere".
"Let them bring the SIT report with the statements recorded so far. If anything is against us we are ready to face the charges," Abha told the High Court.
Seeking time, Sidhu said, "We registered the three FIR last evening. Investigations are yet to start. We need a week's time to file the replies."
Following the CBI plea, Abha sought interim protection against arrest in the three fresh FIRs and sought from the court that some direction be given because the CBI is seeking time to file a reply after which the Judge issued a notice to the CBI for January 18. "I have come fully prepared. It is they (the CBI) which is seeking time," she further said.
After the conviction of Rathore, the Haryana Police had registered three fresh FIRs against Rathore two of which were later transferred to a seven-member SIT.
The two FIRs transferred to the SIT were registered on the complaints of Ruchika's father Subhash Chander Girhotra and brother Ashu levelling a series of criminal charges, including attempt to murder, wrongful confinement, causing disappearance of evidence and doctoring the post-mortem report against the former Haryana top cop.
The third FIR against Rathore charging him under section 306 IPC (abetment to suicide) was registered on January 5. The earlier two FIRs were registered on December 29 last.
The other accused in the three FIRs were the then Ambala Superintendent of Police (SP) K P Singh, Sub Inspector Prem Dutt and Assistant Sub Inspectors Jai Narayan and Sewa Singh. PTI