Dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of former Haryana Police chief S.P.S. Rathore and other police officials against whom fresh first information reports (FIRs) were registered by molestation victim Ruchika Girhotra’s family members recently, a local court here was aghast at the “baffling and disgusting” attitude of the state government in not filing a reply pertaining to the bail plea.
Ruchika committed suicide in 1993, three years after she was molested by Rathore, who was sentenced to six months in jail last month.
Days after Rathore’s conviction by a CBI court, the police registered FIRs charging him and others with attempting to murder Ruchika’s brother Ashu, criminally intimidating him, booking him in false cases and fabricating Ruchika’s post-mortem report.
Additional sessions judge Sanjeev Jindal said in his order that the state’s law and police officers seemed to be buckling under the dual pressure of Rathore and of the media, which launched a campaign against the state government for having taken the case lightly.
Judge upholds media
To Rathore’s lawyer-wife Abha Rathore’s argument that the media had “assumed the role of prosecutor and judge as well and wants to publicly hang the applicant accused,” Jindal said the importance of the media could not be undermined.
He said in his order, that “though sometimes the media oversteps its limits and becomes extremely proactive in highlighting things without going to the root (of the matter)…
in certain other cases, the media has come to the forefront to aid and help the most deprived and downtrodden segments of society in a bid to save or protect them from the atrocities and highhandedness of the system of the country and in order to secure justice for them’’.