Ruchika was Never Expelled, says School

Chandigarh, Jan 1 (IANS) Ruchika Girhotra had never been expelled but removed from the rolls for non-payment of fees, the Sacred Heart school here said Friday following reports that it rusticated the girl in 1990 following her molestation by former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore.

"Ruchika was never victimised and expelled from the school. She did not pay her fees continuously for six months, for a period of April to September 1990, therefore her name was not carried on school register in the next month," said Father Thomas Anchanickal, vicar-general, Chandigarh-Shimla diocese spokesperson.

"There might be a possibility that her parents had themselves withdrawn Ruchika from the school," he added.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Chandigarh had Dec 21 held former Haryana director general of police (DGP) Rathore guilty of molesting 15-year-old Ruchika in Panchkula town Aug 12, 1990 and sentenced him to a six-month prison term. Rathore was immediately granted bail.

The budding tennis player had committed suicide three years after the incident.

"We are extending full cooperation to the administration in their probe. We would make available all documents sought by them, subject to availability as these documents are nearly two decades old," stated Anchanickal.

Ruchika was apparently expelled from the senior secondary girls school for unexplained reasons just a month after the molestation.

Chandigarh Home Secretary Ram Niwas, who is also the education secretary, four days ago ordered a magisterial inquiry into the role of the school management.

Education department officials here are probing the "questionable" role of Sister Sebestina, the principal of this leading girls' school, in the expulsion.

"Our inquiry is still under process and we have recorded the statements of various people who are related to this issue. We are looking into all aspects of this matter. However, we cannot divulge any details right now," said an official here Friday.

Sources in the administration said the principal, who was away on vacation, has been called back for the investigation.


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Title: Ruchika was Never Expelled, says School

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