After 26-year fight, Anands partially satisfied’ with verdict

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Haryana-We used to avoid going to court in the same vehicle as we feared being killed in an accident. SPS Rathore was DGP and close to then CM Om Prakash Chautala. It was mental torture during those days,” remembered Madhu Prakash.Both Anand Prakash and Madhu expressed that they were only partially satisfied with the verdict of the Supreme Court upholding conviction of former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore as punishment has been reduced. The couple had fought for 26 years to see justice for Ruchika Girhotra. In trial court alone, they had attended more than 400 hearings. The case later reached the sessions court, the high court and the Supreme Court.On August 12, 1990, Ruchika and her friend Aradhana, daughter of Anand Prakash and Madhu, had visited SPS Rathore’s house-cum-Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA) office in Sector 6, Panchkula. Rathore had sent Aradhana away on pretext of calling a coach and started molesting Ruchika. He let her go only when Aradhana returned.Aradhana’s testimony had led to Rathore’s conviction in the trial court, but it was her mother Madhu Prakash, 67, a law graduate and housewife, who had filed the petition in the high court for registration of FIR against Rathore which was allowed. The FIR was registered in 1999.“It is a relief that conviction is upheld but the SC has remitted his punishment. He had served only 6-month jail and will no longer have to serve any more,” she said.It has taken 26 years to reach here. Had it not taken so much time, Ruchika wouldn’t have to commit suicide,” she added.Ruchika committed suicide on December 28, 1993. She was 14-year-old at that time.“We had decided that we will take it to logical conclusion,” said Madhu.