Court exemption for DGP

AMBALA, NOV.27. A local court today granted exemption from personal ppearance to the Haryana Director-General of Police (DGP) Mr. S.P.S.Rathore, against whom the CBI has filed a chargesheet in connection with the alleged molestation of a minor girl, who later committed suicide.

The special CBI Magistrate, Mr.A.K.Tyagi, granted exemption for the next date fixed for November 29 when the CBI plea to condone the delay in the filing of the chargesheet would be taken up. Mr.Rathore was present in the court.

The court also allowed complainant Ms. Madhu Anand Prakash to engage a counsel to assist the CBI during further proceedings on the investigating agency's application seeking condonation for delay in filing the chargesheet.

The CBI has charged Mr. Rathore under Section 354 IPC for allegedly outraging the modesty of 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra, a tennis trainee, in the office of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA) at Panchkula on August 12,1990. The court directed that a certified copy of the challan be given to the DGP. The court also allowed his counsel to inspect the documents in the challan file.

The Magistrate, after hearing both sides, adjourned the case to November 29 pertaining to condonation of delay. The counsel of the DGP had demanded that the case be taken up on December 2.

The CBI counsel, Mr.Chandresh Sahay had opposed Rathore's plea for a copy of the chargesheet and sought more time to file the reply.

Ruchika had gone to the HLTA office alongwith her friend Reemu, who was asked to leave the premises before Rathore allegedly molested her. She allegedly had committed suicide on December 29, 1993 after three years of the incident.

Reemu's mother Ms. Madhu Anand Prakash had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking probe into the case following which the court ordered investigation by CBI.

Mr.Rathore had challenged the decision in the Supreme Court which in December last directed CBI to complete investigations within six months.

Mr.Rathore, later told reporters that the matter was subjudice and it would be decided by the court.

He said as far as the notice of the National Human Rights Commission was concerned, the State Government was to take action. There was no moral obligation for him to resign and the State Government was fully aware of the facts of the case, he added.

Earlier, Ms.Madhu Prakash, the complainant pleaded that she may be treated as party and be allowed to pursue the case through her counsel. The judge while partially allowing the application directed that she may engage a counsel to assist the proceedings to be held by the CBI but her counsel however would not be allowed to conduct the case.