In Ruchika molestation case, a district and sessions court in Haryana has granted till January 7 an interim bail to former DGP SPS Rathore who has been convicted in the case.
After hearing defence counsel Abha Singh, District and Sessions Judge SP Singh granted interim bail to Rathore, against whom fresh FIRs were filed by Ruchika’s family accusing him of attempting to murder her brother Ashu and sexing up her post-mortem report.
“The petitioner (Rathore), if arrested by the police till January seven under the two FIRs, will be released on interim bail on furnishing bail bonds of Rs one lakh with one surety of like amount in each case to the satisfaction of the arresting officer,” the judge said.
Court also served notice to the state asking for its reply by January 6 and instructed Rathore not to leave the country without its permission.
“The petitioner shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts to the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the court or any police officer,” he said.
The judge said that the interim bail would remain in force till January 7, the day next hearing will take place.
Earlier, Abha contended that Ruchika’s father, Subhash Chander Girhotra, Ashu and the family of Madhu Prakash ‘want to become heroes and heroines in the eyes of the public’ and that the facts had been ‘fabricated and interpolated’.
The court ordered Rathore to make himself available for probe in connection with the two cases if the police asked him to join the investigation.
The judge, who did not consider Rathore’s anticipatory bail but only accepted the plea for interim bail, said, “At this stage of the present case, the court is not exercising its power either to grant or refuse the anticipatory bail of the petitioner.”
“The counsel for the petitioner has made a request for grant of interim bail only till the next date of hearing when the state will appear and present its case before the court lest the petitioner is arrested before hearing of the matter on merits by the court from both the sides,” he said.
The order further said, “Going by the submission of the counsel and perusing the order/documents referred before me, formation of SIT which is still to collect/appreciate the evidence before arresting the petitioner, such a request of the counsel (Abha) deserves acceptance.
“The court is aware of the legal proposition that anticipatory bail to some extent intrudes into the sphere of the investigation of the crime and the court must be cautious and must circumspect in exercising such power of discretionary nature.”
The case will on the next date come up before the Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jindal as Singh would be on leave from January four to 12.
In response to a question if the development was a jolt to the case against Rathore, lawyer for Ruchika’s family Pankaj Bhardwaj expressed the hope that he would be able to expose the truth on the next date of hearing.
“So far we have not got any opportunity to present our case,” Bhardwaj said, noting that he will oppose Rathore’s bail on the next date of hearing. “We are hopeful of getting justice.”
Aradhana, the sole witness to the molestation of 14-year-old Ruchika in 1990, said that the order of the court was ‘pretty expected’.