Rathore’s bail plea hearing deferred till Wednesday

Chandigarh, June 1 (Calcutta Tube) Jailed former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore Tuesday failed to get any relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court which deferred till Wednesday the hearing on his bail petition in the Ruchika molestation case.

Rathore, 68, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment by a district and sessions court here May 25 for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990. He is currently lodged in Burail Jail here.

No arguments were heard Tuesday as the vacation bench of Justice Ajay Tewari, which took up the case for hearing around 2.30 p.m., deferred the case till Wednesday as the lawyer respresting complainant Anand Prakash failed to appear in court due to ill health.

A representative of Pankaj Bhardwaj, counsel for Prakash, prayed before the court: ‘Bhardwaj was present in the court in the morning. But he had to leave as he was not feeling well.’

Prakash is the father of Ruchika’s friend, Aradhna, who is the lone witness in the molestation case.

Abha Rathore, wife and counsel of Rathore, who was waiting for the arguments since 10 a.m. voiced her protest.

‘We are waiting since morning for the arguments. What is the guarantee that he will be fine by tomorrow,’ she pleaded before the judge.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lawyers Tuesday filed their reply pertaining to Rathore’s bail petition in the court.

‘We have submitted our reply in the court and also submitted its copy to the petitioner’s lawyer. We are ready for the arguments in this case tomorrow,’ Anmol Rattan Sidhu, CBI lawyer, told reporters here Tuesday.

Abha moved a bail petition for her husband in the high court May 26, a day after a court convicted Rathore and sent him to jail.

The former Haryana director general of police was sent to jail by the district and sessions court which upheld his conviction in the molestation case by a CBI special court in December last year and enhanced his jail term from six months to 18 months.

Rathore was sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs.1,000 by the CBI special court. He was immediately granted bail then. Rathore filed a plea in January challenging his conviction.

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