Kanda’s bail cancellation: HC reserves judgement

kanda-mainThe Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its judgement on the plea filed by the city police opposing the bail granted to former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the air hostess Geetika Sharma suicide case.

Justice V P Vaish reserved the judgement after Additional Solicitor General Sidhartha Luthra, appearing for the police, Kanda’s counsel and counsel of Ankit Sharma, brother of Geetika, concluded their respective arguments.

The lower court had on October 14 last year dismissed the bail plea of Kanda and, later, on March 4 this year, granted him bail after noting that co-accused Chadha had been released on bail by the high court.

Kanda and Chadha are facing trial for betting the suicide by the 23-year-old Geetika who was earlier employed as an air hostess in Kanda’s MDLR airlines.

Earlier, the court had asked Kanda and Delhi Police to file their replies to the bail cancellation plea. The plea had alleged that being an “influential” politician, Kanda may tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses in the trial.

The trial court had, while granting bail to Kanda, observed that the former minister had been in judicial custody since August, 2012 in connection with the case.

Chadha was arrested on August 8, 2012, while Kanda had surrendered a few days later on August 18.

Both the accused have also been charged with forgery for cheating and harming the reputation of the victim.

Geetika was found dead on August 5, 2012, at her Ashok Vihar residence in north west Delhi. In her suicide note, she had said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Kanda and Chadha.

The police had in its charge-sheet said Kanda was obsessed with the victim and was putting pressure on her to come back to his company.

(Source: PTI)

Airhostess case: Notice to police on plea to cancel Kanda’s bail

Airhostess caseThe Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to police on a plea of former air hostess Geetika Sharma’s brother seeking cancellation of bail to former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, who was in jail for the past 18 months after being accused of abetting her suicide.

Justice V.P. Vaish sought Delhi Police’s reply by April 17.

Approaching the high court, Sharma’s brother contended that Kanda is an influential person and while on bail, will try to tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses.

Asking the court to cancel the bail given to Kanda, he said that the trial court has not taken into consideration all the aspects while granting him bail.

The trial court March 4 allowed the bail application of Kanda while observing that he was in judicial custody since August 2012.

The high court had earlier dropped the charge of sexual exploitation against him.

Kanda and his aide Aruna Chadha are accused of abetting the Aug 4-5, 2012, suicide of a 23-year-old former air hostess who left behind a note accusing the duo of harassing her.

Chadha and Kanda have been charged with abetting suicide, criminal conspiracy, forgery and hacking computers and sending offensive or false messages.

The Delhi High Court Feb 10 had granted regular bail to Chadha.


Court charges Gopal Kanda with raping former air hostess

Delhi High court has fixed charges of rape and abetment of suicide on Former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda on trial in air hostess Geetika Sharma’s suicide case.

The court also framed charges of abeting rape and suicide of the 23-year-old victim against Kanda’s aide and an employee of MDLR company, Aruna Chadha.

District Judge S K Sarvaria framed charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery under IPC and Information Technology Act relating to hacking of computer and sending offensive or false messages on Kanda and Chadha.

“Prima facie charges under sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery with intention to cheat), 469 (forgery with intention to harm reputation) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) are made out against Gopal Kanda and Aruna Chadha.

“Further, prima facie charges under sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural sex) are made out against Kanda and charge under section 376 read with 109 (abetment to rape) is made out against Chadha,” the judge said.

With Friday’s order, the suicide case has been converted into a sexual offence case in which name of the victim cannot be mentioned henceforth.

After framing charges, the district judge has sent the matter for trial before the fast track court dealing with sexual offence cases. The court has fixed the matter for May 27 for recording of prosecution evidence.

The charges of rape and unnatural sex were not invoked against them by the Delhi Police in its charge sheet.

The former air hostess, who was earlier employed with Kanda’s MLDR airlines, was found dead on August 5 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 forced to resign from his post of minister of state for home following the registration of the case.

High Court seeks Delhi Police’ response to Gopal Kanda’s bail plea

The city police has been asked by The Delhi High Court  to file its response to the bail application of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, an accused in the air hostess Geetika Sharma suicide case.

“You just file the reply to the bail application. Put up for hearing on November 19,” Justice Pratibha Rani told additional solicitor general (ASG) Siddharth Luthra who attempted to raise certain objections to Kanda’s bail plea.

The hearing on the bail application of Kanda, who is in jail since his arrest on August 18, was deferred twice in the forenoon today on the ground that the arguing counsel Ramesh Gupta was on his way to the court room.

According to justice “Enough is enough. Your counsel is still on his way to the court. No more pass over can be granted. I am adjourning the matter to some other date”

During the brief hearing, ASG Luthra, appearing for Delhi Police, said, “The accused is seeking bail on the ground that charge sheet had already been filed but he has not annexed the copy of the charge sheet with his petition to be heard by this court. I have got a serious objection to it.”

Earlier, another bench of Justice PK Bhasin had recused itself from hearing the bail plea of Kanda without citing any reason and had asked the registry to place it before some other court.

On November 1, Kanda had moved the high court against the September 20 order of the trial court which dismissed his bail plea on the ground that further probe was needed in view of a police report that the victim was pregnant in March this year.

Geetika, 23, was found dead on August 5 at her Ashok Vihar residence in North West Delhi. In her August 4 suicide note, Geetika said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Kanda and his aide Aruna Chaddah, co-accused in the case. They, however, denied the charge.

Earlier, Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea had been rejected by the trial court and the Delhi High Court, following which he had surrendered before the police on August 18.

Chaddah is also in jail, after her bail pleas were rejected by the trial court on September 7 and October 15.

She had sought bail on the ground that she is a single parent and has a seven-year-old daughter and also old parents to look after.

On October 6, the city police filed a charge sheet before the trial court against Kanda and Chaddah for allegedly being involved in “a series of wilful and malicious acts of mental torture, threat, blackmail and stress” against Geetika which led to her suicide.

The police has accused the duo of “harassing, conspiring, intimidating and creating an atmosphere of terror and continuous pursuit” in the victim’s mind that “she found no option but to end her life”.

The charge sheet, which runs into 1020 pages, cites 65 prosecution witnesses including the gynaecologist who had aborted Geetika’s foetus in March 2012.

Kanda and Chaddah have been charge sheeted under section 306 (abetment of suicide), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), 201 (destruction of evidence), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery with intention to cheat), 469 (forgery with intention to harm reputation) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of Indian Penal Code.

They have also been booked under section 66-A of the Information and Technology

Court extends JC of Kanda, Chaddha through video conference

A Delhi court today extended the judicial custody of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda and that of his aide Aruna Chaddha in the Geetika Sharma suicide case by 14 days, conducting its proceedings through video conferencing.

Metropolitan Magistrate Bhupinder Singh remanded Kanda and Chaddha to judicial custody till September 25 after the Delhi police said investigation in the case was still on.

The duo were not brought to the court physically from Rohini Jail after expiry of their judicial custody today.

“Accused (Kanda and Chaddha) produced through electronic video linkage (EVL). Heard. Accused be remanded in judicial custody till 25,” Metropolitan Magistrate Bhupinder Singh said.

The court had earlier allowed the Delhi police’s plea for conducting proceedings through video conferencing as, the police said, a huge crowd gathers in court premises when the two accused are produced there.

The police had said that due to media hype and the crowd of onlookers and supporters of the accused, they did not want to bring them to court physically.

In future proceedings also, Kanda and Chaddha would be produced before the judge through video conferencing.

Kanda was arrested on August 18 after he had surrendered before the police, 13 days after former air hostess Geetika Sharma was found dead on August 5 in her Ashok Vihar house in North West Delhi.

Chaddha was arrested on August 8 after she was called for questioning by the police for her alleged role in the case.

In her suicide note, Geetika had alleged that Kanda and one of the MDLR employees, Chaddha, were harassing her to rejoin the former minister’s firm after she left the job.

In her August 4 suicide note, 23-year-old Geetika had said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Kanda and Chaddha. Both Kanda and Chaddha have been accused of abetting Geetika’s suicide.

Fresh case registered against Gopal Kanda

A fresh case was registered here against former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, an accused in the Geetika Sharma suicide case, for not appearing before a court in a 14-year-old dud cheque matter, police said on Wednesday.

Kanda is in 14-day judicial custody till September 11, for allegedly abetting the suicide of 23-year-old former flight attendant Geetika.

On the direction of a court, Kanda and his brother Govind, were declared proclaimed offenders in the cheque-bounce case, which they had settled out of court last month.

A senior police official said they registered a case under Section 174-A (punishment for non-appearance in response to court proclamation) against the brothers in Connaught Place police station on Tuesday on court’s direction.

While directing the registration of case, the court said evading court summons and warrants is different from cheque-bounce case and acquittal in one case does not absolve anyone of the second offence.

“The offence under Section 174 A (proclaimed offender) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act (cheque-bounce case) are two distinct offences. The acquittal of the accused in the compoundable offence under section 138…does not bar investigation into the offence under Section 174 A IPC,” Metropolitan Magistrate Vikrant Vaid had said.

Both the brothers faced summons and then warrants by the Delhi court ever since the 1998 case when Rs 4 lakh cheque issued by Kanda had bounced. But the two failed to appear before it.

But, finally in May this year, the court declared both of the brothers proclaimed offenders for not heeding its repeated summons and warrants to appear before it.

On August 18, Govind was arrested for helping Kanda escape police in the suicide case.

On the same day, the court of Metropolitan Magistrate (Saket court) Vikrant Vaid, while granting bail to Govind in the cheque-bounce case, also asked police to file a reply on the steps taken against Kanda for ignoring the court’s order for appearing before it despite various summons.

The court asked the police to give reply August 27.

Although, the case of bounced cheque was sorted out between the two parties August 27, police failed to give their reply why no action was taken against Kanda for ignoring court’s summons.

If Kanda brothers are convicted under Section 174 A of the IPC, they could get a maximum punishment of three years.

Kanda had resigned as Harayna’s minister of state for home after he was charged with abetting the suicide of Geetika Sharma.

Geetika in her suicide note had accused Kanda of harassing her and forcing her to commit suicide. She died on the night of August 4-5 at her house in New Delhi. Kanda has denied the allegation.