A day after Veena told the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Haryana Police that she had married molestation victim Ruchika’s father S.C. Girhotra in November 1990, the key witness in the freshly registered cases against former state police chief S.P.S. Rathore said she walked out of the marriage as Girhotra did not trust her.
“While I craved for a settled family life, his gestures at times showed his lack of trust in me, and that hurt me very much,” she is reported to have told SIT sleuths over the past few days.
Veena, who had been described variously as Girhotra’s second wife and the family’s governess, told investigators the couple had separated five years after their marriage under a mutual understanding and without going in for a divorce.
Veena, who is hearing impaired, is a key figure for the fresh cases against Ruchika’s molester, Rathore, as she married her widower father three months after the molestation and left him two years after the teenager committed suicide.
Ruchika’s mother Renuka Girhotra had died in 1988.
SIT sources said Veena’s statements, which corroborate the trial by a CBI court, which sentenced Rathore to six months in jail, might indirectly back the retired top cop’s stand that Girhotra’s second marriage could have led to loss of moral control over Girhotra’s children.
Rathore could use Veena’s statements as they cast a shadow over some of Girhotra’s utterances regarding his relationship with Veena, the sources said.
Veena told the SIT that they had a domestic help named Veena. Girhotra had stated earlier that he had not married a second time and that a person named Veena worked in his house as a maid. His lawyer had told presspersons earlier that he did not know Veena and had never met her.
Rathore bail plea
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has adjourned the hearing on Rathore’s anticipatory bail plea for Tuesday. HC has however declined the plea of Abha Rathore, counsel wife of Rathore, for grant of interim stay on Rathore’s arrest.
Rathore had moved to HC after a Panchkula court turned down his anticipatory bail plea on January 8, in two cases registered against him by Panchkula police on December 29 recently.
CBI takes charge
The CBI on Monday took over the probe of three new FIRs filed in the Ruchika molestation case, including abetment to suicide and attempt to murder, against Rathore and other police officials of the state.
The agency has re-registered the three cases in Special Crime Zone in New Delhi.
(With inputs from HTC, Chandigarh)