Rathore's Bail Plea Hearing Adjourned Till July 19

Chandigarh, Apr 5 (IANS): In the wake of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking more time to investigate fresh cases registered against tainted Haryana police officer S.P.S Rathore, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday adjourned his anticipatory bail plea hearing till July 19.

Rathore has been convicted of molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra, leading her to commit suicide.

However, the interim bail granted to Rathore by the high court in the two fresh cases will continue till July 19.

Justice Sabina adjourned the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea after the CBI counsel sought more time from the court to complete investigations in the case.

"Our investigation is still under process. This is an old case and we have to look into all aspects of this case. Therefore, we have sought at least four-weeks time from the court," CBI counsel Ajay Kaushik told IANS Monday.

Although Rathore was absent from the hearing, his wife and counsel Abha Rathore was present in court. Complainant Anand Parkash and his lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj were also present.

The complainant's lawyer was quite upset with the delay in the CBI's probe.

"CBI is willingly delaying this case. We have submitted all proof and recorded our statements with them but so far they have not even questioned Rathore. It raises question marks over their investigation," said Bhardwaj, while talking to reporters outside the court.

Earlier the high court had Jan 25 granted interim bail to Rathore in two fresh first information reports (FIRs) filed against him by the CBI in the molestation case.

Rathore was booked in these two FIRs under non-bailable charges like attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, forging evidence, wrongful confinement, fabricating false evidence and criminal conspiracy.

The FIRs were registered following fresh complaints from Ruchika's father S.C. Girhotra and brother Ashu last month.

Rathore was also booked for abetting Ruchika to commit suicide.

His petition to quash the abetment to suicide charges was earlier referred to a division bench.

A CBI special court here Dec 21 held Rathore guilty of molesting 14-year-old Ruchika in Panchkula town August 12, 1990 and sentenced him to a six-month prison term. Rathore was immediately granted bail.

Ruchika, a budding tennis player, had committed suicide three years after the incident.



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