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SIT Will Not Arrest Rathore As CBI Probe Is Likely

PTI 09 Jan 2010, 9:15:26 IST

The special investigation team, looking into two fresh FIRs filed against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, on Friday said it will not arrest the disgraced officer at this stage as it would mean pre-empting a possible Central Bureau of Invesigation probe in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.

The SIT's announcement came hours after a local court dismissed the former IPS officer's anticipatory bail plea.

Chief of the seven-member SIT, S S Kapoor, told PTI that by arresting the accused at this stage it would not like to pre-empt the CBI investigation.

The team would continue probe till the agency takes over the case. "An accused can be taken on police remand for custodial interrogation only for 15 days in connection with any case. If the SIT or the Haryana police takes him on police custody now, it would mean pre-empting CBI investigations as by the time it takes over the case, the accused may have gone into judicial custody," Kapoor said.

Kapoor said the SIT would not like to encroach upon the right of the CBI to have the accused (Rathore and others) in the agency's custody.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jindal rejected the two anticipatory bail pleas moved by Rathore. The CBI is expected to take over probe soon as the state government has recommended to the Centre to hand over the case, including attempt to murder, wrongful confinement and doctoring of post-mortem report of the 14-year-old girl, to the agency.

State DGP R S Dalal had recently constituted the SIT to probe the two FIRs registered on December 29 following complaints of Ruchika's father S C Girhotra and brother Ashu.

The third FIR registered on January 5 on the complaint of Ashu alleging abetment to suicide of her sister has not been handed over to the SIT.

Kapoor said complainants were not available for probe despite repeated notices. The petitioners have to give certain clarifications to help the probe.

Rathore, a 1995 batch IPS officer, was awarded a six- month jail term by a CBI court recently for molesting Ruchika, a budding tennis player in 1990 when he was an IGP.

Ruchika died on December 29, 1993 after he consumed poison on the previous day.

Terming as a 'significant step' the denial of anticipatory bail to former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore in the Ruchika case, her friend and sole eye-witness to her molestation hopes that justice will finally be done.

"Now we hope justice will be done. I am getting confident in my struggle against Rathore due to the support from the people all over the world," she said.

Aradhana's father Anand Parkash said with the rejection of anticipatory bail application of the former DGP, ' the truth is coming out.'

Ultimately justice has prevailed, he said, adding, "We are now hopeful that Ruchika will get justice and there will be no more such cases."

Girhotra family's lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj said, "It is the duty of the state to arrest him immediately." If the state delays Rathore's arrest they would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he added. PTI