“What sort of contradictory justice is this? How can one court find him guilty another find him not; even though his misdoings are known to everyone,” questioned the father of the budding tennis player, who was allegedly molested by the former Haryana Director-General of Police S.P.S. Rathore in 1990.
The teenager committed suicide three years after the incident.
On Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stated in a report submitted to an Ambala court that the charges against Rathore could not be proven and subsequently on Thursday he was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court took into consideration the fact that Rathore had already completed six months of his 18-month conviction and the CBI filed two closure reports on Wednesday in two of the three fresh cases filed against Rathore by the victim's family.
Last December, three fresh first information reports were registered against the former police officer after a public outcry on the six-month sentence he received. The jubilant manner in which he walked out of the court premises also caused a lot of resentment. However, the CBI challenged the verdict in a session's court in Chandigarh which enhanced the sentence to an 18-month jail term.
“2 FIRs registered”
Two FIRs were registered against Rathore for non-bailable offences such as attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, forging evidence, wrongful confinement, fabricating false evidence, custodial torture and criminal conspiracy. In its closure report, the CBI claimed that the allegations could not be proved on the basis of documentary evidence and the oral testimony of witnesses alone. While the CBI filed the closure reports in two cases before a special magistrate here, the probe in the abetment-to-suicide case has been stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
On May 25, the Chandigarh sessions court enhanced Rathore's sentence to 18 months, terming the initial verdict as an ‘error' and denied bail to avoid ‘mockery of justice delivery system.' The judge had observed that “the convict has no remorse for the wrong committed by him… Every witness of this case had to face allegations in one form or the other and attempt was made to catch them in a well-woven legal web.”
The victim's father said that he or his family were never questioned by the CBI. “We had provided the statement of witness and all the evidence that were required in court, but they could not find any proof. No one approached us for any questioning or proof. How can they claim that charges against him for his heinous acts could not be substantiated?”
Reacting to the CBI's report, he said, “The closure report will not give any relief to Rathore as abetment-to-suicide charges are still intact. We will pursue the legal course of actions and I am sure that Rathore will get strict punishment for his crime.”
To be challenged
The victim's family friend, Anand Prakash, who fought the case for over two decades, said that an independent inquiry should be formed to ensure that no police officers were involved in the probe. “Needless to say, the CBI has shielded him. We will challenge the CBI move on November 25 in the Ambala Court.
“Throughout the inquiry, the CBI was inclined towards favouring Rathore and his officers. The CBI is shielding the accused. We had apprised the Union Home Ministry of our apprehension and will demand an independent inquiry where no police officers are involved in the investigation,” Mr. Prakash said.
Rathore,69, is currently serving his 18-month sentence in the high-security Burail jail in Chandigarh for molesting the teenager.