Rathore walks out of jail, smiling

Chandigarh, Nov 12 (IANS) After spending less then six months of his 18-month sentence for molestation in Burail Jail here, former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore Friday walked out of the prison, with a smile on his face.

Rathore, who was convicted for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra, was granted bail by the apex court Thursday morning but his release from the jail was delayed due to official formalities.

Rathore’s wife and counsel Abha Rathore submitted a bail bond of Rs. 100,000 in the court of chief judicial magistrate here Friday. Rathore was sharing barrack number 10, of Burail Jail, with Baba Pritpal Singh, who was accused of forgery and cheating.

A jail official said Rathore used to work in the jail library. He was working everyday for five hours and was earning Rs. 30 per day.

Earlier Rathore had also applied for parole, saying that he had to look after his agriculture land in Panchkula district. But his applications were twice declined by the authorities concerned.

Rathore, 69, who retired as director general of police in Haryana in 2002, has been convicted of molesting 14-year-old Ruchika and sentenced to 18 months’ rigorous imprisonment by a district and sessions court of Chandigarh May 25 this year. The teen committed suicide in 1993 due to the harassment.

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

He 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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