December 25, 2009

Ruchika’s case: The man who bravely fought molester Rathore

Anand Parkash and his wife took over the fight as Ruchika's family fell silent after her death. Prakash says Rathore offered to settle the case out of court, but his reply was: the only person who had a right to settle it was dead.

By appearance, 67-year-old Anand Parkash seems diminutive -- a little over five feet tall and with a voice so soft that one has to strain ears to hear him properly. But it was this man's steely resolve and endurance that brought about the conviction of former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case.

As the case dragged over 19 years, he visited various courts in different cities, more than 450 times. Ask him about the expenditure and the trouble he encountered fighting the battle for the girl who was his daughter's best friend, he says, "If you start fretting over these things, you cannot fight a battle."

"One has to be optimistic and have faith in God. Believe me, there are good people too. For example, our lawyers, Pankaj Bhardwaj of the Punjab and Haryana HC and Meet Malhotra of the Supreme Court, did not charge a single penny from us."

When asked about Rathore's punishment, he shrugs, "If you ask me, the quantum of punishment is not sufficient. But our purpose was to bring conviction, which we did. It is a matter of great disgrace for a government officer to be convicted."

Parkash recollects the start of the battle. "I still remember that day, when I heard Ruchika and my daughter Aradhana talking to my wife Madhu in our house.

I was in another room but when I heard sounds of muffled sobs I entered the room and the girls confided in me,"
he says. "Ruchika did not have a mother, and she and my daughter had developed a strong friendship over the years. I knew the family well and had to stand by them in their hour of distress." It was he who warned Ruchika's father not to go and meet Rathore at his residence. "Rathore had called him through a written message which was not even signed. The message which was carried by one of his men, read that her father should come alone. I had every reason to be suspicious, especially by going over through Rathore's conduct in the last few days."

After Ruchika's death, her family withdrew into a shell. But Parkash carried on the battle. "It is unfair to blame her father and brother for not pursuing the case. In fact, they had given me an affidavit under which I could act on their behalf. I was harassed as well. I was a Haryana government employee. Out of the blue disciplinary charges were slapped against me. I was abruptly transferred along with my entire staff to far off places. But I was supported by my wife and daughter who kept fighting."
It was his wife, who filed a criminal petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

"Rathore's men started harassing me. Goons would stalk my daughter but we were not deterred. I remember when my daughter came specially to depose in front of CBI, Rathore used his connections to delay her statement. She was here for over a month but the court did not take her statement until one day before she was to leave for Australia. It was only when we protested and threatened to complain, that they took her version," says Parkash.

Did Rathore try to influence him as well? "Yes, he did. He even offered to settle it outside the court. To which I said that the only person who had a right to settle it was now dead. It was a disgraceful offer."

Parkash is not satisfied with the outcome so far."The battle has only started.

I now want to expose every official and politician who shielded Rathore and suppressed facts."

He doesn't like a job unfinished.

A 19 year wait: The case file

Ruchika and her friend Aradhana were members of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, of which S P S Rathore (then IGP, Haryana) was the president. A chronology of the events recorded in the case:

AUG 11, 1990: Rathore visits Ruchika's house at noon. Persuades her father, S C Girhotra, a bank manager, not to send Ruchika to Canada. Promises special training for the teenager. Asks her father to tell Ruchika to visit his office-cum residence the next day.

AUG 12: Ruchika and Aradhana visit Rathore's office. Rathore asks Aradhana to fetch the coach. Aradhana returns and finds Rathore molesting Ruchika. On seeing her, Rathore lets go Ruchika, who rushes out of the room. Rathore asks Aradhana to talk to Ruchika and that "he would do whatever she would say".
The girls decide not to talk about the incident to their parents, considering Rathore's powerful position.

AUG 14: Ruchika and Aradhana go to the tennis court. Rathore calls Ruchika again to his office. This time, the girls decide to share it with the parents. Ruchika confides in Aradhana's mother, Madhu Parkash.

AUG 15: Both families along with parents of other HLTA trainees hand over a written complaint to Home Secretary J S Duggal. The Chief Minister marks it to then DGP R R Singh.

AUG 26: The DGP summons Rathore. In retaliation, Rathore allegedly arranges 45-50 hoodlums who raise slogans against Ruchika and smash the windowpanes of her house.

SEPT 3: DGP's report finds the allegations true, recommends registration of case and investigation by CID.

MARCH 11, 1991: Change of government brings new DGP, RK Hooda, who too recommends departmental action against Rathore.

1992: Government agrees that an FIR can be registered against Rathore. Case transferred to Chief Secretary.

AUG 12, 1992: First of the six auto theft FIRs registered against Ashu, Ruchika's brother.

OCT 23, 1993: Ashu arrested, kept in custody for two months. He was beaten up in custody and one day taken to his house, where Ruchika was told that her father would meet the same fate if she did not withdraw the complaint.

DEC 28: Ruchika consumes poison, dies next day. Ashu released.

JAN 1994: Government withdraws all charges against Rathore.

APRIL 1997: Ashu discharged from all theft cases.

NOV 1997: Aradhana's mother files a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A year later, court directs CBI to conduct an inquiry.

DEC 1999: Supreme Court upholds the order of High Court.

JAN 2000: CBI files chargesheet against Rathore, recommends his removal in interest of "free and fair deposition".

JULY 2002:
Rathore retires as DGP .

NOV 2009: Case transferred to CBI Chandigarh.

DEC 11, 2009: Court closes all final arguments and sets the date for verdict.

Source: The Indian Express


Timtam said...

Does anyone have the pictures of SPS Rathore's immediate family......please publish them online.

Anonymous said...

SAME! Corrupted political leaders and Rathore the ugly old creature. If it is happening in America, he gets the lifetime prison or death sentence because child molestation or rape has no mercy. SAME, SAME the old creature. HE SHOUL GET LIFETIME PRISON IN JAIL AND NO PARROLE.

Anonymous said...

Thank Binda Karat, she speak up about the Brave RUCHIKA Girhotra's case.

Anonymous said...

Such Bastards(Extremely sorry for using such a language, But he deserves more than this) like Rathore should be hanged before Public...
I jus don understand as to why his family is ever supporting him..
A Dog like him can never be a good husband neither a descent parent..
There are so many men who are let out on the streets unpunished..
Rathores death must teach a lesson to all such unworthy men ...

Hang himn and before that let he slapped by atleast 100 women and paraded on the Delhi streets!! Please don take another twenty years to resolve this case..

Anonymous said...

surely nothing less den death for him..!! 'coz its not just what he did..but its about what he wanted to do that too being on such resposible place..!! had aradhana not arrived there at time., this SOB would difinatly had raped her..!!

Anu said...

Thanks to Mr. Parkash and his family for fighting against this devil.
Shame on rathore and i would say his family too.Because they should be against him not with him.If they really have any human feelings in them.
or if they support him then i think they are also the criminals like him.
Ruchika's family has gone through a lot.These things happen a lot in India.Why there is still nothing done to resolve these type of cases that the victim does not have to commit suicide.
I feel so much anger and pain after hearing what happend with Ruchika and his family.

Soumyaranjan Dash said...

India is a unique country in many respects, and its justice system is one of them. One wonders the wisdom of our criminal laws that let many Rathores go scot free while numerous innocent people are languishing in jails for the want of a fair trail.

Where such examples are ubiquitous there we're witnessing the effort of Mr. Parkash and his family in fighting against this devil and this is, no doubt, praise-worthy.

Anonymous said...

He reportedly used his position to imprison the child's brother.How is that no authority in India is following that up. Isn't that blackmail besides a lot of other things.Who were the subordinate officers who helped this guy carry this out? Shouldn't some one prosecute them too? This happens to educated people and it takes 19 years to get the man ..and , that too by sheer chance & because the child committed suicide. I can well imagine what must be happening to the less fortunate people of India.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Mr. Prakash Anand for the bravery and courage depicted. These kind of honest gentlemen are difficult to find. Hatts off Sir. All Thanks and salutes to Mr. Prakash.

The F**K Rathore should be burnt alive to conceal the brutal facts he committed.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Anand Prakash and his family is hero who continued to fight a battle against the most influetial nexus in our society.Also credit goes to the people who helped this family to continue their battle like the lawers who had not charged even a single penny and all whom Mr.Anand Prakash could not mention.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Anand Prakash and his family is hero who continued to fight a battle against the most influetial nexus in our society.Also credit goes to the people who helped this family to continue their battle like the lawers who had not charged even a single penny and all whom Mr.Anand Prakash could not mention.

Anonymous said...

What a shameful and terrible thing. This is not only about one man who is a criminal in police uniform.

It is about India, the rotting condition of Bharat Mata's body.

I see today's Times of India Ruchika case : CBI files closure report in two cases against Rathore that criminals who are powerful and well connected can do anything and get away with it.

If there was no one Anand Parkash, we would have never known about how rotten the state of this country is. For 19 years !

Shame on you, India!
Shame on me, as an Indian !

Anonymous said...

Indians should care about each other more, now is the need to come forward as strong community more than ever.

This kid did not deserve this, nor did her family.

Anonymous said...

After two years also, I still cannot forget this case. I want severe punishment for persons like rathore.

Anonymous said...

Rathore should be hanged.