Refusing to restore the pension of former Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) SPS Rathore,the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT),Chandigarh. In its order on December 8,the Tribunal had ordered the restoration of pension to Rathore,which had been withdrawn by the Union government after his conviction. A Bench today issued notices to Rathore asking him to respond to the petition filed by the MHA. Rathore,who was convicted by a UT Court on charges of molesting Ruchika Girhotra has been asked to file his response by July 3.
In December ,CAT had issued orders invalidating the orders passed by the Central government withholding the Rathores pension. The Central government had passed these orders after he was convicted in a case of molestation of Ruchika Girhotra. The pension of Rathore,who is at present out on bail granted by the Supreme Court,was withheld by the MHA on June 23,2010,following advice from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Rathore challenged the Central government orders before CAT. Later,he filed a contempt of court petition against the Union home secretary when his pension was not resumed. Comparing his own case with that of former Punjab DGP KPS Gill,Rathore had stated before the Tribunal that no order for withholding the pension of KPS Gill,who has also been found guilty of molestation,has been passed. A CAT division bench had in December last ordered restoration of the pension,observing that the competent authority could not have validly directed the withholding of pension on permanent basis.
Rathore was awarded 18 months RI by a UT Court on May 25,2010. He remained behind bars for five months. His appeal was dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court,following which he moved the Supreme Court. The latter admitted his appeal and granted him bail.
The MHA lawyer said that as per the SC directions,the MHA does not have to await the apex Courts orders to withdraw the pension. The counsel said Rathore has been held guilty by the trial Court and his appeal stands dismissed by the HC. If the SC passes a judgment setting aside his conviction,his pension can be restored,he opined,