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Ruchika case: HC adjourns hearing on Rathore's plea

india Updated: Apr 05, 2010 13:36 IST

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday adjourned till July 19 the hearing on two FIRs filed against former DGP SPS Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case after the CBI sought more time to conduct the probe.

Justice Sabina adjourned the case after the CBI counsel told the court that the agency needed four weeks time to file the status report.

68-year-old Rathore, who had two months back sustained injuries in a knife attack by a "psychologically imbalanced" youth outside a District Court in Chandigarh, was not present in the High Court today though his lawyer-wife Abha attended the proceedings.

Ruchika's family lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj and Anand Prakash, father of the lone eyewitness of the molestation incident, Aradhna, were also present in the court.

Later talking to reporters outside the court, Bhardwaj said, "It is very shocking that the CBI despite having recorded the statements of the complainant and other witnesses is seeking more time. We fail to understand what more do they need to dig out.

"Moreover, Rathore has not been questioned by the CBI so far and in a way they are only trying to shield him," Bhardwaj alleged.

Prakash said that they had submitted "all the relevant papers and direct evidence to the CBI in the case... Rathore should have been questioned within a month after the agency took over the investigations," he told reporters.

The former DGP's interim bail granted by the High Court in the case on January 25 would continue till the next date of hearing.

Rathore has been sentenced to six years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 last year by a Haryana trial court for molesting 14-year-old Ruchika on August 12, 1990. She had committed suicide three years later.

The two fresh FIRs registered by the CBI in January on the basis of complaints filed by Ruchika's father S C Girhotra and brother Ashu, accuse Rathore of committing serious offences including attempt to murder, wrongful confinement, giving false evidence and doctoring the post-mortem report of the teenager.

Rathore's plea for quashing of the third FIR under section 306 IPC (abetment to suicide) has already been referred to a High Court division bench.

Rathore had filed a third petition seeking quashing of the third FIR stating that the issue had been settled earlier even at the level of the Supreme Court.