In a dramatice turn, a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court, on Tuesday, again recused itself from hearing the infamous case against former director general of police Haryana, SPS Rathore, pertaining to Ruchika Girhotra’s molestation. This is the fifth consequtive time in the past four months that the case has been refused by any division bench.
Initially, the division bench comprising of chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice Surya Kant, on April 19, had refused to hear the case and had directed that the case be placed before the bench not comprising of justice Surya Kant. The case then came up before the division bench comprising of justice Hemant Gupta and justice AN Jindal, which also refused to hear the matter.
Following this, the case was listed before the division bench comprising justice MM Kumar and justice Gurdev Singh, which also declined to hear the case. The matter then came up for hearing before the division bench comprising justice SK Mittal and justice AN Jindal, which also refused to intervene in the matter.
However, on Tuesday, the matter was put up before the division bench comprising justice SK Mittal and justice Arvind Kumar, which as well recused itself from hearing the case and referred the case to acting chief justice to be put up before some other bench.
The public interest litigation(PIL) filed by an NGO World Human Rights Council had sought an independent probe in Ruchika molestation case from the date of her molestation and also for action against officers who sided with SPS Rathore and enabled the trial to continue for 19 years.
Rathore had been granted bail by the Supreme Court on November 11 last year, after spending close to six months in Burail jail while serving sentence of 18 months for molesting Ruchika, a 14-year-old budding tennis player in 1990. Ruchika had later committed suicide.