Chandigarh : A local court here will announce May 20 its decision on former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore’s plea challenging his conviction for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra. A plea seeking enhanced punishment for him will also be dealt the same day.
After hearing the arguments continuously on day-to-day basis since May 3, Additional District and Sessions Judge Gurbir Singh Tuesday announced that the verdict will be pronounced May 20.
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea for enhancement of Rathore’s sentence is also pending before the same court and a decision on it will also be announced May 20.
During the entire hearing, media was kept outside the court room.
Rathore, accompanied by his wife and counsel Abha Rathore, reached the court amidst tight security cover at around 10 a.m. The main complainant Anand Parkash, his wife Madhu Parkash, and Ruchika’s father S.C. Girhotra were already present inside.
“Hearing of both the parties have completed today. All the evidence and records have been submitted to the court. Now it all depends on the judge’s decision and we are obviously expecting a longer jail term for him (Rathore),” Girhotra told reporters outside the court.
“He deserves no mercy from any quarter. Though they (Rathore’s lawyers) had tried their best to misguide the court by producing false statements and proofs, I am still hopeful of more harsh punishment for Rathore,” he added.
“We are expecting maximum sentence for Rathore,” Parkash’s lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj said.
A special CBI court had held Rathore guilty in December last year of molesting 15-year-old Ruchika in Panchkula town in August 1990. She committed suicide three years later.
The former state police chief was sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1,000 slapped on him. However, he was immediately granted bail.
Earlier, this case had come for hearing Feb 8 but was postponed by the court following a knife attack on Rathore and his lawyer by a student, Utsav Sharma.
Sharma was immediately arrested but was later released on bail. The local court will take up his case Aug 16.