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Judge who paid for going against Rathore
PANCHKULA/Chandigarh, JAN 2(IANS/Agencies):
Published on 2 Jan. 2010 11:08 PM IST
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A former CBI judge who tried the Ruchika Girhotra case in 2001 has told NDTV that there were grounds to charge SPS Rathore under Section 306 for aiding and abetting the teenager’s suicide. Coming out after 8 long years in oblivion, Jagdev Singh Dhanjal says he failed to understand why the CBI “turned a deaf ear” to the testimonies of four witnesses who claimed that Rathore drove Ruchika to kill herself. “Even the CBI’s report says that after the incident, she (Ruchika) remained confined to her house and depressed. Later, she committed suicide by consuming poison.,” says Dhanja, even as the CBI comes under pressure to slap tougher charges on former Haryana top cop Rathore. Ruchika’s family and friends gave testimonies explaining how the trauma that followed her molestation eventually led Ruchika to suicide, but the CBI was not moved. ajesh Ranjan, an Inspector General with the Bihar Police, was the CBI’s investigating officer at that time. He refused to come on camera, but had this to say: “We had to look for concrete evidence to prove abetment of suicide. But the girl committed suicide three years after the incident, and there was no suicide note, no dying declaration.” But in 2001, Dhanjal took note of an application moved by Madhu Prakash - a close family friend of Ruchika’s - and ordered the inclusion of Section 306. Rathore’s legal team, however, got the high court to strike that order down in 2002. Judge Dhanjal was probably one of the victims of the Ruchika trial too. Sources say Dhanjal had a good service record and had been a judge for 18 years before he was made a CBI judge. But three months after this judgement, his annual confidential report was downgraded. Usually, judges are given two five-year extensions after 50 years of age. But Dhanjal never got one. Eight years after he gave his verdict, he’s been reduced to practicing law at the Patiala Courts. While he still believes that he took the right decision, the question is: Will the authorities take some corrective action? Meanwhile, Haryana government today spoke to the principal of the school which expelled teenager Ruchika Girhotra molested by a former top police officer even as Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda hinted the case relating to her molestation and suicide might be handed over to CBI. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Chandigarh went to the Sacred Heart School here this evening and met the principal Sister Sebastian seeking details about the expulsion of Ruchika, who was molested by former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore, in 1990 and similar other cases. The SDM sought documents regarding her expulsion from the school, account books and attendance registers because the authorities of the school run by Chandigarh-Shimla Diocese had alleged she was expelled due to non-payment of fees for six months from April to September 1990.

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