Without giving any interim protection, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the CBI for January 18 on former Haryana DGP S.P.S. Rathore’s petitions seeking anticipatory bail in FIRs containing serious criminal charges against him. He had also sought quashing of a third FIR which charges him with abetment to suicide in a molestation case.
Justice Sabina issued the notices after brief arguments during which the CBI said they needed a week’s time to file a reply since the three FIRs had been registered only Monday evening after the cases were transferred to them from the Haryana Police which had entrusted the probe to a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Rathore’s lawyer and wife Abha sought interim protection till the time CBI files its reply, but the court did not issue any direction on this. “Let them bring the SIT report with the statements recorded so far. If anything is against us we are ready to face the charges,” she told the court where the former IPS officer, who was awarded a lighter six months’ imprisonment last month by a CBI court here, was not present.
CBI’s counsel Assistant Solicitor General and Special Public Prosecutor Anmol Rattan Sidhu said that in the FIRs the charges against the former DGP are like a reign of terror (having been let loose by Rathore). “We registered the FIR last evening. Investigations are yet to start. We need a week’s time to file the replies,” Mr. Sidhu said.
Following the CBI plea, Ms. Abha sought interim protection against arrest in the three fresh FIRs and sought from the court that some direction be given because the CBI is seeking time to file a reply after which the Judge issued a notice to the CBI for January 18.
Meanwhile, a Sessions court here admitted Rathore's appeal against the recent judgement of a CBI court convicting him for molesting the budding tennis player 19 years ago. The appeal will come for hearing before Additional District and Sessions Judge R S Attri on Wednesday.