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Ruchika Case: Father Thomas Defends Principal Sebastina

Even as a probe found the lady principal of Sacred Heart school of arbitrarily expelling Ruchika Girhotra, molested by a former top cop of Haryana, Chandigarh-Shimla Diocese which runs the school on Saturday in Chandigarh
PTI January 09, 2010 22:27 IST
PTI

Even as a probe found the lady principal of Sacred Heart school of arbitrarily expelling Ruchika Girhotra, molested by a former top cop of Haryana, Chandigarh-Shimla Diocese which runs the school on Saturday in Chandigarh ruled out punishing her claiming she has done no wrong. 

 "Ruchika was not expelled and there is no proof to suggest that. She herself had stopped coming to the school on her own and her name was struck off the rolls," Father Thomas, Vicar-General and spokesman of the Diocese, said here.  He said there was no question of punishing the school principal Sister Sebastina, who continues to be the prestigious school's principal, when she was not at fault.

Ruchika, a 14-year--old budding tennis player, was molested by former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore in 1990 who had allegedly brought pressure on the school to expel her.  "She (has done no wrong and we stand by her. There is no sufficient basis on which the principal has been held guilty. The Sub Divisional Magistrate (Prerna Puri who carried out the probe into Ruchika's expulsion), has taken convenient passages...there is no circumstantial evidence to suggest that principal was guilty of expelling her," he maintained.

SDM Puri had in her probe report said the decision to expel Ruchika by the school was taken in an arbitrary, selective and a biased manner. 

Claiming that the Catholic Church and the Bishops were concerned over the 43-year old school's name figuring in the controversy, Father Thomas indicated that they may approach the Minorities Commission in the matter.  On the Chandigarh Administration having asked the principal to return the state award, he said "we don't crave for awards and they can take it back whenever they like". 

 Meanwhile, Chandigarh Administration has sent a letter to Sister Sebastina, asking her to return her state award with immediate effect.

The award was given to her in 2005 for meritorious services in the field of education. PTI