The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday decided to conduct daily hearings from tomorrow on a revision petition of former Haryana DGP S.P.S. Rathore challenging the session’s court verdict sentencing him to an 18-month jail term for molesting a teenager.
The hearing in the case of 68-year-old Rathore, who has spent over a month in high security Burail jail, was adjourned by Justice Jitendra Chauhan till tomorrow.
The court will now hear the matter on a day-to-day basis.
Rathore’s lawyer wife Abha did not press for his bail and instead sought two days time from the court to argue the main revision petition. The judge, however, told her that the common man should not be affected as other cases were already lined up.
“I will not force this court to bypass other cases,” she said after which Justice Chauhan directed that the arguments in the case will be heard daily from tomorrow for one hour.
Ms. Abha, during the hearing, questioned the locus standi of Madhu Prakash, mother of sole eyewitness in the molestation case, Aradhna, to file a petition in the sessions court seeking enhancement of Rathore’s sentence of six months jail term awarded to him last year.
Allowing the petition’s of Madhu Parkash and that of the CBI, the sessions court had enhanced the six months sentence to 18 months prison term which has been challenged in the High Court by Rathore.
“She (Madhu) had no right to file any revision. She is not a complainant nor is she the victim. She is some stranger. She is not the aggrieved girl nor is she a member of the family,” the lawyer contended.
She argued that Ms. Madhu’s revision itself is “not maintainable and this raises a legal question“.
Countering Ms. Abha, the victim’s family lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj said that it was on the basis of the complaint of Madhu Prakash earlier that the whole case had moved.
“How can anyone decide not to make Madhu a party? This is beyond my imagination,” Mr. Bhardwaj said.
Ms. Abha also alleged that Ms. Madhu had procured the inquiry report of the then Haryana DGP R. R. Singh in the molestation complaint against Rathore.
“She managed to procure the confidential inquiry report using political pressure. Later, she filed a criminal complaint (against Rathore) on the basis of that report. It is a conspiracy which I will tell the court later. There was no RTI at that time,” she said.