3 Apr : President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has approved the stripping of former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore of his the meritorious service medal following his conviction in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.
Rashtrapati Bhavan sources confirmed that the President had assented the Home Ministry’s proposal to strip the police official of his medals.
Rathore, had earlier got away with a light punishment for molesting budding tennis player Ruchika who later committed suicide.
However, following the public outrage, the Central Government had decided to strip the IPS officer of his police medals. The Home Ministry had approached the President with the proposal, which was cleared by the President some time back.
The Home Ministry had taken action against Rathore on the recommendation made by the Central Police Awards Committee(CPAC). The CPAC, headed by Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai, had recommended to the President for the withdrawal of the 1985 Police Medal given to Rathore for “moral turpitude” or bringing “disrepute or disrespect” to the service following his conviction.
The six-month sentence for Rathore had also led to a furore, which forced the government to take several steps including a direction to the CBI for appealing against the verdict and seek a maximum punishment (two years) for the accused.
The Home Ministry has also served a show cause notice to Rathore asking as to why his pension and other post-retirement benefits should not be reduced.The Ministry had taken the decision after consulting the Union Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Personnel on the issue.
The Centre has also asked all the states and Union Territories to send information about those cops who were convicted for “moral turpitude” or bringing “disrepute or disrespect” to the service.
Detailed information has been sought so as to initiate the process of stripping the individual of his or her police medal in due course on a case-to-case basis.
This could have implications for convicted Haryana cadre IPS officer R K Sharma who had been convicted in the journalist Shivani Bhatnagar murder case and retired super-cop K P S Gill who has been convicted of slapping the posterior of then IAS officer Rupan Deol Bajaj at a party in Chandigarh.
Each case would be examined separately and placed before the Central Police Awards Committee, which will take the final call.