Ignoring advice, Hooda firm on Rathore FIR
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is understood to have rejected the view of top administrative and police officials, who appear reluctant to book Rathore for having allegedly forced teenager Ruchika Girhotra to commit suicide in 1993, HT has learnt. Nagendar Sharma reports...india Updated: Jan 04, 2010 00:03 IST
Caught between public sentiments and legal hurdles on the issue of slapping abetment-to-suicide charges against S.P.S. Rathore, a former state police chief, the Haryana government has finally decided to swim with the tide.
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is understood to have rejected the view of top administrative and police officials, who appear reluctant to book Rathore for having allegedly forced teenager Ruchika Girhotra to commit suicide in 1993, HT has learnt.
Ruchika’s brother, Ashu, had lodged a complaint with the Panchkula Police on December 31 for a fresh FIR against Rathore.
The officials’ argument is since the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court did not allow Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (which deals with abetment to suicide) to be imposed against Rathore earlier, it would not be “proper” to reopen the 16-year-old case.
However, the state government, under growing pressure from all quarters, has decided to go ahead with the fresh FIR.
Hooda is learnt to have turned down the officials’ argument during meetings with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala, state Home Secretary, Advocate General and the Director General of Police.
Hooda’s view is based on the opinion by AG, H.S. Hooda that “The Supreme Court can be informed afresh about the change in circumstances, leading to the fresh FIR.”
The CM has also cleared the recommendation to the union Home Ministry of a CBI probe in all the fresh FIRs lodged against Rathore. “Fresh evidence has emerged since the trial court verdict on December 21. Many people, including former top police and CBI officials, who were serving at that time, have come forward with their statements now,” highly-placed sources said.
The state government is relying on the statements by the then state police chief R.R. Singh, who probed the case, and the affidavit Ashu filed in the Supreme Court in 2002.
“The onus of filing an appeal lies with the state government and not the CBI, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),” sources said.
Section 377 of the CrPC says the state government may present an appeal to a higher court against the sentence on the ground of its inadequacy.