By Rohit Singh:
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has once again failed the expectations of the common man when it failed to bring justice to the family of Ruchika Girhotra. Â The family of Ruchika Girhotra, a minor girl who allegedly committed suicide after molestation by former Haryana director general of police (DGP) SPS Rathore, gave up its fight for justice in the court of law after 22 years.
The security cover provided to the family was removed three months before a local court accepted the closure of the case. A PCR van stationed outside the Girhotras’ residence in Panchkula’s Sector-12A area now has nobody to operate it. The van was there for the family’s security along with the cover three years back.
Panchkula DCP Parul Kush said she was unaware of the removal of the security. “I will have to check records as I have taken over recently,” she said.
The special CBI court in Â Panchkula accepted the closure report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in two cases – Attempt to Murder, and Forgery of Documents- filed against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.Â “When Rathore was convicted in 2009, I met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram who assured me of justice. I thought time and system had changed and dared to move fresh complaints against Rathore”, said Ruchika’s father Mr. Subhash. On January 12, 2010 the CBI registered three fresh FIRs against Rathore – Attempt to Murder, Abetment to Suicide and Doctoring of Documents.Â Recently, the special court accepted the closure of two files out of the three, which included Attempt to Murder and Forgery of Documents.
Ruchika’s father and brother have raised no objection over the closure of the file. “I do not see any hope now. We feel cheated. My family is vulnerable. The circumstances have pushed us back by 20 years“, said Ruchika’s father while talking to a leading newspaper. “But now after finding that the system cannot be changed, we decided not to pursue it further,” Mr.Subhash Girhotra said.
Ruchika’s Â father said that he had presented a lot of material and some witnesses related to the fresh cases before the agency, “But the agency was adamant on closing the case,” he said.
Subhash pushed his son and family into exile after Ruchika’s death, fearing further harassment at the hands of the former DGP. During this period, the family shifted between several cities and returned to Panchkula many years later only to lead an inconspicuous life.
Besides Rathore, former Ambala SP KP Singh, sub-inspector Prem Dutt and assistant sub-inspectors Jai Narayan and Sewa Singh were also named in the FIR related to the abetment of suicide.
The following is the timeline of Ruchika Girhotra’s case:
August 12, 1990– SPS Rathore, then IG and President, Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA) reportedly molested Ruchika
September 1990–Ruchika was expelled from school for ‘indiscipline’ following her allegations against Rathore
September 3, 1990– An Inquiry report indicted Rathore
October 23, 1993– Ruchika’s brother arrested in several theft cases
December 28, 1993– Ruchika consumed poisonous substance
December 29, 1993– Ruchika died
August 21, 1998– High Court directed CBI to conduct inquiry
December 21, 2009– CBI court sentenced six months of imprisonment to the accused
January 12, 2010– CBI registered three fresh FIRs Â charging of Attempt to Murder, Abetment to Suicide and Doctoring of Documents.
November 10, 2010– CBI filed closure
In its closure report, the CBI Â said that the allegations levelled by Subhash Girhotra and his son Ashu against Rathore were unfounded. The CBI also claimed that the allegations could not be substantiated “as per the documentary evidence and oral testimony of witnesses“.
What we need to understand here is that the executive and judicial bodies of India have not only failed Ruchika Girhotra and her family but every common man who has either faced such a situation and has been expecting justice or who has women in his family and yearns for their protection. The time is not far when people will be frustrated because of the injustice caused to them and become belligerent, pick up guns and revenge upon all those who have inflicted pain upon them. It’s high time that the system in India and people working in it show enough shame to bring justice to the people for whose protection they had vowed when they joined the service and show valour enough to stand against the wrong no matter how powerful it is. We need a system that can ferociously attack the bad elements of the society and once again reassure the common man of India that he is in safe hands.