Former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore would have to undergo his 18-month prison term with the Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissing his plea challenging the sentence awarded to him for molesting 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra about 20 years back.
Justice Jatinder Chauhan also dismissed a petition by 68-year-old Rathore, who is undergoing the sentence in high-security Burial Jail here since May 25, seeking release on probation.
The Sessions Court here had enhanced his six-month imprisonment awarded by a trial court in December last year to 18 months in jail on an appeal by CBI and her family. Rathore's escape with a lighter sentence had sparked an outrage.
Ruchika, a budding tennis player, had committed suicide three years after being molested by Rathore on August 12, 1990.
Rathore's lawyer-wife Abha Rathore had filed the review petition on his behalf in the High Court on May 26 seeking bail, a day after he was sentenced and jailed.
Hailing the verdict, Ruchika close friend and only eyewitness in the case, Aradhana, said, "Justice has prevailed.
"I really appreciate the judiciary for taking such a stand.... It has really strengthened the people's confidence in the judiciary once again," said Ardhana, whose parents had fought the case along with the Girhotras.
"He (Rathore) should have been a saviour but he became a molestor... it was the most shameful thing to do... being a officer," Aradhana said, stressing that "exemplary" punishment should be given to people at high positions for such crimes.
"We have to take a stand... give harsh punishment for such acts so that the women in the country could feel safe," she said.
"The judiciary has proved that law is equal for all," Aradhana's father Anand Parkash said, adding that "it has been proved that those indulging in such crimes against women will not go scot free irrespective of their position in society."
Prakash's wife Madhu is the main complainant in the case.