The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Centre to pay provisional pension and medical benefits to former Haryana director general of police (DGP) SPS Rathore, who had been convicted in the infamous Ruchika Girhotra molestation case in 2008.
The high court direction, however, came with a rider. The decision is subject to the outcome of the criminal appeal pending in the Apex Court.
The directions came from a division bench headed by justice SK Mittal during the resumed hearing of a petition moved by the Centre, challenging December 8, 2011, order of the Chandigarh bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which had invalidated the Centre's decision to withhold Rathore's pension.
|In the appeal to the high court, Rathore had questioned the Centre's decision by submitting that former Punjab DGP KPS Gill, who was punished for the same offence of molesting IAS officer Rupan Deol Bajaj in 1998, was getting the pension.
After Rathore's conviction in a case relating to molestation of Ruchika Girhotra, the union ministry of home affairs had on June 23, 2010 ordered the withholding of Rathore's full pension. Its decision came on an advice by the Union Public Service Commission.
Rathore had been granted bail by the Supreme Court on November 11, 2010, after spending close to six months in Burail jail, where he was serving a sentence of 18 months for molesting Ruchika, a 14-year-old budding tennis player in August 1990. Ruchika had committed suicide by consuming poison. The court adjourned the case sine die.