Lack of evidence to support the harassment charges made by the family of the 14-year-old, who committed suicide in 1993, has led to charges and counter-charges being hurled by the parties involved in the case.
While the victim’s family alleged that the former DGP S.P.S. Rathore, who was granted interim anticipatory bail on Friday, manipulated events 16 years back, the wife of the accused claimed that the family was changing its statement due to excessive media presence.
Mr. Rathore’s counsel and wife, Abha Rathore, alleged that the complainants had no proof to back their allegations of “attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.” They only had their “their own statements which they have updated” according to their convenience after media’s intervention. “We don’t want that a man should be arrested and humiliated just because of the media hype. We are willing to cooperate in all investigations and we want the truth to come out.”
Mrs. Rathore presented various documents pointing to the contradictions in the statements made by the victim’s family before and after the media intervention. Initially, the victim’s father had stated that he took his daughter to the PGI (in Chandigarh) as the nearest hospital did not have all the facilities. But now he claimed that he was forced to go to Chandigarh by “certain men, dressed in plainclothes, on the orders of Mr. Rathore.”
Though anticipatory bail was sought in the first two FIRs, which did not include Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (abetment to suicide), Mrs. Rathore told the court that this section could not be imposed on Mr. Rathore since the matter had been dealt with and quashed by the Supreme Court. She presented to the court documents signed by the complainants themselves in which they stated that “no one is to be blamed for the suicide.” She also said that fresh cases registered against Mr. Rathore were due to media pressure.
Counsel said a woman called Veena had been identified as the step mother of the teenage girl, but her role (in abetment to suicide) was never probed. The family denied the existence of such a person, though “Veena has signed documents for the family as the mother of the girl.”
Also, in his detailed statement on the suicide, the father mentioned that he married Veena in 1991 after his wife’s death in 1988. In the suicide affidavit, he stated that there was no misunderstanding between his daughter and her step mother.
“After 16 years, the brother is now making statements about how he was personally tortured by Mr. Rathore and there is neither an eyewitness nor has there been a medical examination to prove any of the claims.”
Disappointed at the grant of interim bail to S.P.S. Rathore in the two FIRs registered against him, Aradhana, the sole eyewitness to the molestation incident, said she hoped there would be a speedy trial in the two cases and the former DGP would soon be behind bars.
“I do not agree with this,” she said about Mrs. Rathore’s argument that various charges, including attempt to murder, were being levelled against him only after 16-17 years. “Then the situation was entirely different and Rathore was all powerful at that time.
“I leave it to the people of India to see the truth in this case. My friend lost faith in the system and society. That’s why she committed suicide. I am alive because I have some faith in the system.”