The family of Ruchika Girhotra, a minor girl who committed suicide after molestation by former Haryana director general of police (DGP) SPS Rathore, has raised no objection to closure reports filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that say there’s no evidence to prove that Ruchika’s brother was tortured in custody or that the signatures of her father had been forged on her post-mortem report.This led to the CBI court in Panchkula accepting the reports on Friday, giving significant relief to Rathore, who is currently out on bail after spending around six months in jail while serving a sentence of 18 months on the molestation charge.
As they appeared in court on Friday, Ruchika’s brother Ashu and father SC Girhotra said they had no objections to the CBI move. The CBI had filed the closure reports in these two cases in 2010, and the duo’s appearance was required for seeking their view. On April 4, the court had issued notices to the father-son.
What were the cases?
Ashu had alleged that a false case of auto theft was slapped on him at the behest of Rathore and he was brutally tortured by Haryana police. But the CBI closure report said there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations.
The report added that the shopkeepers of the Sector-6 market had neither heard nor seen Ashu being paraded by the police in half-naked condition with handcuffs in December 1993, as had been alleged.
The report also took note of the fact that Ashu had made a disclosure statement admitting to theft of nine vehicles. Note, however, that Ashu was acquitted of the theft charges by a Panchkula court in 1997.
SC Girhotra had alleged that his signatures were taken on blank papers during the post-mortem proceedings of his daughter Ruchika, who committed suicide on December 28, 1993, three years after being molested by Rathore. He had said that his daughter’s name was intentionally changed to Ruby and his name from SC Girhotra to his expanded initials ‘Subhash Chand’, apparently to cover up the matter.
But the CBI closure report said that during the inquest proceedings after the suicide, SC Girhotra had himself disclosed his name as Subhash Chand and his daughter’s name as Ruby.
The probe agency also mentioned that Rathore was subjected to polygraph tests in both cases and his denials of the allegations were found truthful.
At present, Rathore is on bail granted by the Supreme Court on November 11, 2010, after spending around six months in Burail Jail as he was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for molesting Ruchika, a 14-year-old budding tennis player, in August 1990.
Rathore has appealed against the sentence in the molestation case, and the CBI is still investigating the key case of abetment to suicide of Ruchika on the complaint of Ashu, who had alleged that the “false cases of theft” against him and police harassment drove his sister to suicide. Acceptance of the closure report by the family now takes some sting out of this allegation, as Ashu on Friday formally accepted the CBI’s contention that he was not tortured in custody.
‘Girhotras said they could not fight cases any longer’
Ruchika’s friend Aradhana was the eyewitness to the molestation. Aradhana’s parents Anand Prakash and his wife Madhu led the fight for justice and attended over 400 proceedings in the case. But Anand was crestfallen on Friday.
He told HT, “I had met the Girhotras a day before yesterday. They told me that they were not in a position to fight the cases and said they were going to tell the court that they had no objection to closure reports. Now, I cannot fight on their behalf. They are the complainants in the case.”
On the merits of the closure reports, Anand said, “The CBI is 100% with Rathore. This is a victory of the corrupt system.”
When HT tried to be contact the Girhotras, they did not take calls on mobile phones. Their house was locked.