Rathore’s bail plea to be heard Nov 11 (Lead)

October 27th, 2010 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday deferred till Nov 11 the hearing on a petition by former Haryana police chief S.P.S Rathore seeking bail and setting aside of his conviction in the 1990 Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.

The apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan said that it would take up the plea for bail Nov 11.

It asked the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) to indicate that conditions that it would like to impose on Rathore in the event the court decided to grant him bail.

Rathore moved the apex court challenging his conviction and enhancement of sentence from six month to 18 months for molesting budding tennis player Ruchika.

Rathore was convicted by the trial court and his sentence was increased from the initial six months to 18 months. The same was confirmed by a sessions court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

At the time of Ruchika’s molestation, Rathore was deputy inspector general of Haryana Police and headed the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA). Ruchika was molested by Rathore at the Panchkula-based office of the HLTA.

Senior counsel U.U. Lalit representing Rathore pleaded that the hearing on his bail plea be advanced so that he (Rathore) could celebrate Diwali with his family.

“It can’t be that it is a Diwali for you (Rathore) and what about Diwali for the victim family (Ruchika’s family),” Justice Sathasivam asked Lalit who was assisted by Rathore’s lawyer wife Abha Rathore.

The court decided to advance the hearing on Nov 11 after it was told that Rathore faced three charges that of abetment to suicide, harassment of Ruchika Girhotra’s brother Ashu Girhotra and forgery of Ruchika’s suicide note.

Lalit said that Rathore was let off by the apex court on two counts of abetment to suicide and harassment of Ashu Girhotra.

At this, Justice Chauhan wondered if the CBI was seeking the review of the apex court’s earlier order by investigating the matter afresh on the same counts.

The court which had earlier given the CBI time till Nov 24 to complete its investigation on the charges of abetment to suicide and harassment of Ashu Girhotra said that it was advancing the bail plea hearing to Nov 11.

Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal told the court that the matter was not as simple and straight as senior counsel Lalit was a trying to make out.

He said that the investigating agency was on a different point and that was not identical to one on which the apex court pronounced its verdict on abetment to suicide and harassment.

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