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Rathore Taunts Media On His Smirk, Says Will Smile More

PTI 13 Jan 2010, 20:47:08 IST
PTI

Taking the media head on, disgraced ex-Haryana DGP SPS Rathore on Wednesday in Chandigarh  taunted newsmen telling them he will smile more if they succeed in doing more "harm" to him and said he has learnt from Jawaharlal Nehru to smile when one is facing adversity.

Chiding the media for "talking too much about his smile" after the smirk on his face on getting a lighter six-month sentence in the Ruchika molestation case drew the ire of various groups, the 67-year-old former Haryana top cop also said he will not "destroy" the judicial system like the way the "media was doing."

Hounded by newsmen for his reaction as he walked out of the District and Sessions Court to his car after getting bail in the molestation case, Rathore did not hide his apparent dislike for the media in the wake of his submissions in open court that he was being subjected to a media trial.

"I will not speak anything about the subject of inquiry but certainly if you want I can speak about the smile you have been talking too much...I learnt from Prime Minister His Excellency Jawaharlal Nehru to smile when you are in adversity. I will smile more. If you succeed to harm me more I will still smile more," Rathore said.

Rathore, who spent nearly five hours inside the Court complex, said, "If you (media) want to know the secret of my smile, then I have to say that if anyone of you happens to come to my drawing room, you will find a photograph at the central point which shows my wife-advocate (Abha) at the age of 9 years offering flowers to then smiling Prime Minister his excellency Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru".

'And that takes me back to my old Lucknow University days when I used to run along with the university boys just to have a glimpse of this greatest son of India (Nehru)," he said about his childhood idol.

Rathore did not take any questions with regards to the ongoing case, saying the matter was sub judice. "I will not speak anything on this subject," he added.

Before reporters could ask him further questions, he went on to explain the reasons behind the "secret of his smile" and added he had learnt to smile when one was faced with testing times.

Pictures and video footage of a "smiling Rathore" last month after the trial court verdict on December 21 last had drawn widespread criticism from different quarters.

Claiming it to be a mockery of not only the too little punishment awarded to him but also modesty of the deceased, several feminist groups had publicly condemned the act.

"We were shocked to see no remorse on his face for having forced a young girl to take such a step. It was this gesture that made me more determined to get him his due punishment," Anand Prakash, who fought the case, had said.

Rathore had avoided all questions from the media after his previous court appearances except for one occasion when he mocked at newsmen saying, "The day you can satisfy me that you are a constitutional power on judicial matters, I will speak to you."

Meanwhile, the Indian Express on Wednesday disclosed that a week after Sacred Heart School, Chandigarh, struck off the name of Ruchika Girhotra from its rolls on September 20, 1990, DGP Haryana SPS Rathore sent a representation to the then Haryana Home Minister Sampat Singh alleging that Ruchika was expelled from the school “on moral grounds.” 

According to the Indian Express report, Rathore also wrote that the inquiry by the then DGP R R Singh recommending registration of a case against him was “one-sided in a sub-judice matter”, according to a file noting by Sampat Singh.

Documents accessed by The Indian Express nail the lies of the convicted former DGP Rathore and the school. While the school had claimed that Ruchika was not expelled, Rathore had said that he did not know about it.

The Union Territory Administration, during the magisterial inquiry conducted by SDM Prerna Puri last week into Ruchika's expulsion, asked Rathore: “Did you submit a representation to the CBI/ Haryana Government in the year 1990 or any time thereafter mentioning the expulsion of Ruchika Girhotra from Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, Chandigarh?”

His signed reply said: “I don't remember about it since it is a 19 years old matter. I have carefully checked (the) record connected with the trial, which was going on in Ambala and Patiala. No such letter or representation or document is available with me. Hence denied.”

However, file notings by Sampat Singh on September 27, 1990 reads: “Representation by Mr Rathore alleging (the probe) to be a one-sided enquiry in subjudice matter. The girl was expelled from her school also on moral grounds. Can FIR be lodged or not.”

The notings followed the recommendation of J K Duggal, Financial Commissioner, Home, on September 4, 1990, to Sampat Singh that “a case under sections 354 and 342 of the IPC be got registered from crime branch of CID.”

Ruchika was expelled from the school shortly after the first inquiry against Rathore indicted him and recommended registration of a criminal case against him on charges of molestation and wrongful confinement. It was then that he sent a representation to the Home Minister.

Files and file notings of the Haryana government reveal how the Haryana government too toed Rathore's line.

*On Sampat Singh's query on whether an FIR can be lodged or not, the then Assistant Legal Rememberencer (ALR) and Under Secretary wrote on December 21, 1990: “No legal bar for registering the case”.

*On January 25, 1991, Sampat Singh wrote, “The opinion of new DGP may also be obtained” and submitted the same to the Chief Minister, Hukam Singh.

*The Chief Minister's Office, on February 27, 1991, wrote (a noting signed by LM Jain, the then Personal Secretary to Chief Minister) “CM has seen. He has desired that file be submitted to him along with views of the new DGP within 10 days positively.”

*On March, 11, 1991, the then Director General of Police RK Hooda, let off Rathore by recommending just departmental action against him.

The systematic assault on Ruchika's family followed—her brother Ashu, who was falsely implicated in six criminal cases, says the Indian Express report.

Additional District and Sessions Judge R S Attri granted Rathore bail till February 8 when his appeal against the trial court order will come up for hearing.

In his order, Attri directed Rathore not to leave the country and submit his passport to the court. The District and Sessions Court had yesterday admitted his appeal and directed listing of the case before Attri.

The judge also issued notice to CBI to file its reply on the appeal by the next date of hearing. Rathore and his lawyer-wife Abha were present in the court.

The former DGP was convicted last month by Special CBI Magistrate J S Sidhu who found him guilty under section 354 of the IPC with having molested 14-year-old Ruchika on August 12, 1990.

 Rathore, who retired in 2002, was the IGP when he molested the girl, a budding tennis player, who committed suicide in December 1993.

The CBI counsel informed the court that the investigating agency has decided to seek enhancement of the sentence handed down to Rathore.

The judge then gave time till the next date of hearing to the CBI counsel to file the agency's petition on enhancement of the sentence.

The counsel for Madhu Parkash, the complainant and mother of Aradhana, the sole witness to the molestation of Ruchika, also submitted before the court that they would be filing a petition also for increasing the sentence. PTI