In a major relief for former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday granted him interim bail in two cases filed in the aftermath of his conviction for having molested teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990.
Ruchika had committed suicide three years later, allegedly because of the harassment meted out to her family by the police at Rathore’s behest.
Justice Sabina, while admitting his third petition, pertaining to quashing of the FIR against him on the charge of abetting Ruchika to commit suicide, said the CBI would have to give him four days notice if it required to arrest him.
The two cases in which Rathore has got bail were registered after Ruchika’s father S.C. Girhotra and brother Ashu Girhotra filed fresh complaints against him. They have alleged that Rathore had tried to murder Ashu, had false cases of auto theft filed against him to pressure Ruchika to withdraw the molestation case against him. They have also alleged that Rathore had Ruchika’s post-mortem and inquest reports fabricated. Senior advocate Randeep Singh Rai, who represented Rathore in court, argued, “What we want is that the CBI should not adopt any coercive step against Rathore.”
CBI counsel Anmol Rattan Sidhu strongly opposed the pleas for bail, saying everything was at a raw stage as the probe had just begun and that Rathore could hamper the investigation and destroy evidence.