Another Punjab and Haryana Hight Court Bench has rescued itself from hearing a PIL pertaining to former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case. The case was referred to this Bench after two double benches had expressed their unwillingness to hear the case. As such the hearing had to be deferred again.
A division Bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, headed by Justice S.K. Mitttal, has asked the Registry of the high court to assign the hearing of the Public Interest Litigation in the ruchika Molestation case to some other Bench. This is the third bench of high court, which has refused to hear the case.
World Human Right Council, through its chairman Ranjan Lakhanpal, had filed a PIL before the High Court. It had sought directions of the court for independent probe in Ruchika’s suicide case, right from the day she was molested till the final decision of the case. The petitioner has also sought appropriate action against all officers who sided with Rathore and enabled the trial to continue for 19 years.
First, the PIL was taken up by a division bench headed by the Chief Justice. However, later the roaster changed and Justice Suryakant sitting in the Bench with Chief Justice Ranjan Gagoi recused himself from hearing of the PIL. Accordingly, the Chief Justice had passed orders to list the case before another Bench. The case was then listed before Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice A.N. Jindal but the Bench recused from hearing of the case.
Later the case was marked to the Bench headed by Justice M.M.Kumar but this Bench too recused from the hearing without assigning any reason. The case was again listed before a bench headed by Justice S.K.Mittal but this Bench too has recused from the hearing of the case.
14-year-old Ruchika, a budding tennis player, had committed suicide three years after being molested by former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore on August 12, 1990.
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