After Ruchika: special courts for sexual offences

Written by D K Singh | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 30 2009, 05:53am hrs
Amid public outrage over the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, the Union ministry of law & justice is studying legal aspects for re-opening the case and reframing the charges to include abetment to suicide against the convicted former Haryana director general of police SPS Rathore. Law minister M Veerappa Moily held discussions with the CBI director in this connection today, it was learnt.

Shocked by the inordinate delay of 19 years in the conviction of Rathore, the law ministry has also promptly drafted a Bill to set up special courts all over the country for the trial of the accused in such cases. The Sexual Offences (Special Courts) Bill will be taken to the Cabinet for its approval shortly and will be tabled in the next session of Parliament.

I have discussed this case with the CBI and the solicitor general of India. There is no legal problem in re-opening the case. Charges can also be reframed. We want to include charges of abetment to suicide against Rathore, said law minister M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday.

He said that the fact that Ruchika had been expelled from the school and her brother had been falsely implicated in theft cases after her complaint of molestation against Rathore, showed that there was abetment to suicide.

The law ministry in consultation with the home ministry wants to treat this as a model case so that in future no officer or authority could think of perpetrating or supporting such a thing. We are also in touch with the department of personnel and training (DoPT) as it concerns ethics of governance,he said.

The draft Sexual Offences (Special Courts) Bill will cover offences under IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty), 375 (rape), and 376 (punishment for rape), among others.