Rathore walks out of jail, smile still intact

Chandigarh, Nov 12 (IANS) The smile was intact on the face of former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore, who walked out of jail Friday after spending nearly six months of his 18-month prison term for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra.

A smiling Rathore, 69, came out of the premises of high-security Burail jail here and had to make his way through the throng of media persons, waiting there since morning, who tried hard to talk to him. Security personnel had a tough time in escorting Rathore to his red-coloured Ford Ikon car.

Dressed in a white shirt, Rathore was accompanied by his counsel and wife Abha Rathore.

His arrogant smile had earlier made the headlines Dec 21, last year, the day of the verdict in the Ruchika molestation case. Later Jan 13, while talking to media for the first time, during the trial, Rathore shared the secret behind his smile, saying he had learned from India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to smile when you are in adversity.

Rathore, who retired as director general of police in Haryana in 2002, was convicted of molesting 14-year-old Ruchika by a district and sessions court of Chandigarh May 25 this year.

He was sentenced to 18 months rigorous imprisonment. Ruchika committed suicide in 1993 due to the harassment.

Having failed to gather any concrete proof against Rathore in the two cases that were registered against Rathore Dec 29 last year on the complaint of Ruchika’s father and brother, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Nov 10 submitted a closure report before a court in Ambala, 45 km from here.

Rathore was booked on non-bailable charges like attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, forging evidence, wrongful confinement, fabricating false evidence, custodial torture and criminal conspiracy.

However, a third case in which Rathore was booked for abetting Ruchika to commit suicide is still pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh.

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