Andher Nagari: Coalgate – PM Not Involved?

Coalgate: PM took no action on repeated missives by BJP MP


New Delhi: BJP Lok Sabha member Hansraj Ahir, whose complaint has led the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) order the CBI to hold a preliminary enquiry (PE) into the allocation of coal blocks between 2006 and 2009, had been writing regularly to the PM since 2009 on the issue, but only got acknowledgements for reply.
According to Ahir, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself regularly acknowledged his letters, the government took no action on the irregularities’ regarding allocation of coal blocks to various private entities.
Starting December 24, 2008, Ahir wrote to the PM about 10 letters, highlighting allocation of coal blocks to private entities without an open competitive bidding process. He had contended that since 2006 the ministry of coal had distributed “scores of coal blocks to some private owners along with few government companies”. He argued that a total of 49 billion tonnes of reserves exist in these blocks, of which 21.61 billion tonnes had gone to private firms. He said the allocations on a first-come-firstserve basis were taking place after the government had in June, 2004, decided to introduce competitive bidding regime.
Last Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had issued a detailed clarification, justifying the entire allocation procedure. “It may be stated that the allocation of coal blocks was never looked upon as a potential source for generating revenue for the Central Government. The intent of the government was to induce rapid development of infrastructure which was so very essential to keep the economy on a high growth trajectory. Hence the question of maximizing revenue does not arise at all. The idea of introduction of bidding cropped up only in the wake of increasing demand for captive coal blocks and the consequent necessity of putting in place a process, which is demonstrably more transparent,” the PMO said.
Though there is no evidence yet of a criminal conspiracy in allocation of coal blocks, there is an eerie parallel between 2G scam and this case, especially the studied silence of the government to persistent complaints by an Opposition leader.
In the case of 2G scam, Dr Subramanian Swamy and others wrote regularly to the PM and others, but there was no response. Later, the Supreme Court blamed the PMO for sitting on the repeated requests to Dr Singh for prosecution of former telecom minister A Raja.
The SC had said, “Unfortunately, those who were expected to give proper advice to Prime Minister and place full facts and legal position before him failed to do so…We have no doubt that if the Prime Minister had been apprised of the true factual and legal position regarding the representation made by the appellant, he would have surely taken appropriate decision.”
Ahir had not sought permission to prosecute anyone, but had been making demands for cancelling the coal block allocations.

Hansraj Ahir

Andher Nagari: Where is Justice?

Sense of insecurity forced victim’s family to give up

Hina Rohtaki TNN

Panchkula: The security cover provided to Ruchika Girhotra’s family as it faced intimidation during its campaign for justice was removed three months before a local court accepted closure report on two cases against the former cop S P S Rathore.
The family did not object to the closure of cases against Rathore amid this sense of insecurity and decided to end the 22-year struggle for justice.
A PCR van stationed outside the Girhotras’ residence in Panchkula’s sector-12A area has nobody to operate it. The van was deployed for the family’s security along with the cover three years back. Sources said security to Girhotras was withdrawn without any notice.
Panchkula DCP Parul Kush said she was unaware of the removal of the security. “I will have to check records as I have taken over recently,” she said.

CHANDIGARH: The family of Ruchika Girhotra, a minor girl who allegedly committed suicide after molestation by former Haryana director general of police (DGP) SPS Rathore, has given up its fight for justice in the court of law after 22 years.

The special CBI court Panchkula on Friday accepted the closure report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in two cases – attempt to murder and forgery of documents- filed against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.

Ruchika’s father Subhash and brother Ashu raised no objection to the closure report.

Admitting that he was not in a position to pursue the matter further, Subhash said, “I do not see any hope now. We feel cheated. My family is vulnerable. The circumstances have pushed us back by 20 years.”

“When Rathore was convicted in 2009, I met union home minister P C Chidambaram who assured me of justice. I thought time and system had changed and dared to move fresh complaints against Rathore.” On January 12, 2010 the CBI registered three fresh FIRs against Rathore – attempt to murder, abetment to suicide and doctoring of documents. However, in November 2010, the CBI submitted the closure report in two cases. The closure report was accepted by the court on Friday.

“But now after finding that the system cannot be changed, we decided not to pursue it further,” Girhotra said.

Ruchika’s disillusioned father said that he had presented a lot of material and some witnesses related to the fresh cases before the agency. “But the agency was adamant on closing the case.”

Subhash forced his son and family into exile after Ruchika’s death, fearing further harassment at the hands of the former DGP. During this period, the family shifted between several cities and returned to Panchkula many years later only to lead an inconspicuous life.

The third case against Rathore- abetment to suicide – is still pending. The CBI could not file any report as the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered status quo on it. Besides Rathore, former Ambala SP KP Singh, sub-inspector Prem Dutt and assistant sub-inspectors Jai Narayan and Sewa Singh were also named in the FIR.

In its closure report, the CBI has said that the allegations levelled by Subhash Girhotra and his son Ashu against Rathore were unfounded. The CBI also claimed that the allegations could not be substantiated “as per the documentary evidence and oral testimony of witnesses.”

Ruchika Case—Timeline

August 12, 1990– SPS Rathore, then IG and President, Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA) molested Ruchika

September 1990–Ruchika expelled from school for ‘indiscipline’ following her allegations against Rathore

September 3, 1990– An Inquiry report indicts Rathore

October 23, 1993– Ruchika’s brother arrested in several theft cases

December 28, 1993– Ruchika consumed poisonous substance

December 29, 1993– Ruchika died

August 21, 1998– High Court directs CBI to conduct inquiry

December 21, 2009– CBI court sentenced six months’ rigorous imprisonment to Rathore

January 12, 2010– CBI registered three fresh FIRs leveling charges of attempt to murder, abetment to suicide and doctoring documents

November 10, 2010– CBI filed closure

MISERY NEVER ENDS: Ruchika’s father, Subash Girhotra, (right) said the family presented a lot of documents related to the cases against ex-DGP S P S Rathore but the CBI ‘seemed to be adamant on closure’