Airhostess suicide case: Court quashes rape charge against Chadha

The Delhi High Court today quashed fresh charges relating to abetment of rape and unnatural offence invoked against Aruna Chadha, an employee of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, in the air hostess suicide case.

A bench of Justice G P Mittal also allowed the plea of Delhi Police seeking to expunge the adverse remarks made against the probe agency and the public prosecutor for not probing the sexual exploitation angle in the case.

The lower court had ordered framing of additional charges against Chadha under section 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offence) read with section 109 (Abetment) of the IPC.

The court on July 16 had reserved its order after hearing arguments on behalf of Delhi Police and Chadha in the case.

Police had moved the high court objecting to the trial court’s remark against the probe. The trial court had made the remarks against the agency in its May 10 order on framing of charges.

Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Police, had sought the adverse observations be expunged, saying they were made without any notice to investigators. He had said further investigation into the sexual exploitation aspect has not been stopped.

Chadha had moved the high court challenging the fresh charge of abetment of rape and unnatural offence slapped against her by the trial court on May 10.

Chadha and Kanda have been charged for various offences including rape, unnatural offence, abetment of rape, unnatural offence and suicide, criminal conspiracy, forgery under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for hacking computers and sending offensive or false messages.

The 23-year-old former air hostess, who was earlier employed with Kanda’s MLDR airlines, was found dead on August 5, last year at her Ashok Vihar residence in North West Delhi. In her August 4 suicide note, she had said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Kanda, 46, and Chadha, 40.

Kanda was arrested on August 18 last year after he surrendered at Ashok Vihar Police Station, while Chadha was apprehended on August 8. Both are in judicial custody.

The police, in its charge sheet filed in October last year, had alleged that Kanda was obsessed with the air hostess and he and Chadha had unleashed a series of wilful and malicious acts of mental torture, threat, blackmail and stress on her, which led her to take the extreme step. 

(Source: IANS)

Geetika suicide: Chaddha sent to two day’s police custody

A Delhi court on Thursday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda – accused of abetting 23-year-old former airhostess Geetika Sharma’s suicide – saying the charges against him were serious in nature.

The Delhi Police have also issued a lookout notice against him.

Kanda’s bail plea was rejected shortly after the court sent co-accused Aruna Chadha, arrested on Wednesday, to two days police custody.

“The allegations against Kanda are grave and serious in nature. There are allegations of calls being made from other phone and SMSes have been sent to her. All this is required to be investigated thoroughly,” said additional sessions judge Rajnish Bhatnagar.

The court further observed that as the probe is at an initial stage, the release of Kanda would hamper the investigation.

“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances…, the bail application lacks merit and is hereby dismissed,” the judge said in the 10-page order.

A former air hostess with Kanda’s now defunct MDLR airline, Geetika allegedly committed suicide on Sunday accusing Kanda and MDLR official Aruna Chadha of harassing her. On Aruna’s custody, the court said, “Aruna is required for sustained interrogation.”

Earlier during the hearing, Kanda’s counsel KTS Tulsi said Geetika was a hypersensitive girl with mixed emotions of love and hatred towards him and that she might have felt jilted.

“Nowhere has Geetika said in her note that Kanda instigated her to commit suicide. The suicide note shows she had a disturbed state of mind,” he argued before the court.

Additional public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said Kanda and Aruna had been pressurising Geetika to come back to MDLR even when she went to join Emirates.

Geetika’s family said Kanda was disrespecting law of the country. “He knows he is guilty and that is why he is absconding,” Ankit, brother of Geetika, said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to Kanda on a petition seeking registration of a case against him for allegedly threatening and assaulting some INLD workers in 2010.

Fresh raid at Kanda’s residence

Delhi Police carried out fresh raids at the residence of absconding former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda, who is wanted in air hostess Geetika Sharma’s suicide case.

A police party headed by ACP Shailender Singh entered the former minister’s Rania Road house around 10:30 PM last night, officials said today.

This is the second such raid within 24 hours at the sprawling mansion of Kanda.

As the team that carried out the raid on Wednesday night was an all-male contingent and might have faced difficulty in questioning the women present in the Kanda residence, a woman constable was also part of the raiding party last night.

The police team remained inside the premises for almost 20 minutes.

The ACP leading the team told reporters waiting outside that the raid was a part of the ongoing investigations.

Official sources said Delhi Police personnel were also keeping a close watch on the movement of Kanda’s aides here.

Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea to avoid arrest in the case was yesterday rejected by a Delhi court which said the charges against him were serious and that he may hamper the probe.

Kanda, who is accused of abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation, has refused to appear for questioning before the Delhi Police.

“The allegations against Kanda are grave and serious in nature. There are allegations of calls being made from other phone and SMSs have been sent to her and all this is required to be investigated thoroughly,” Additional Sessions Judge Rajnish Bhatnagar had said.

Geetika (23), a former air hostess with Kanda’s now defunct MDLR airline, was found hanging in her flat in north west Delhi on Sunday.

In a suicide note found at her residence, Geetika said she was ending her life due to harassment by Kanda and MDLR official Aruna. Both Kanda and Aruna have denied the allegations.

Kanda, an Independent MLA who held Home, Urban Bodies and Industry and Commerce portfolios, resigned the following day.