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.

Geetika suicide case: Custody of Kanda, Chaddha extended

A Delhi court Tuesday extended the judicial custody of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda and his employee Aruna Chaddha till Oct 12. The duo is accused of abetting the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma.

While extending their custody, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D.K. Jangala listed the matter for scrutiny of the charge-sheet till Oct 12.

Police filed the charge-sheet Oct 6.

The court order came after Kanda’s counsel said that the scrutiny of the charge-sheet could not be done due to paucity of time.

Chaddha is a former official of Kanda’s now-defunct MDLR Airlines where Geetika had worked.

Kanda was forced to resign as minister of state for home and urban local bodies in Haryana following Geetika’s suicide. He was arrested Aug 18.

Geetika, 23, died on the night of Aug 4-5 at her house in Delhi’s Ashok Vihar area. Her two suicide notes named Kanda and Chaddha for harassing her and driving her to suicide.

Both Kanda and Chaddha have denied the allegations.

After Kanda’s airlines ceased to function in 2009, Geetika was given another assignment in the group owned by him.

Geetika Sharma suicide case: Kanda moves bail plea

Former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda, an accused in former air hostess Geetika Sharma suicide case, today moved a bail application before a Delhi court.

The bail plea will come up for hearing tomorrow before District and Additional Sessions Judge S K Sarvaria.

The sitting Haryana MLA was arrested on August 18 after he had surrendered before the police, 13 days after Geetika was found dead in her Ashok Vihar house in North West Delhi.

He was then remanded in judicial custody on August 28 after the Delhi Police said he was not required for further custodial interrogation.

Earlier, his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the trial court and the Delhi High Court, following which he surrendered before the police.

In her suicide note, Geetika had alleged Kanda and Aruna Chaddha, an MDLR empployee, 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 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.

However, Kanda has been reiterating before the court that no case of abeting suicide is made out against him and that Geetika was “hypersensitive” and the extreme act on her part was that of a “confused and frustrated individual”.

Geetika case: Ex Haryana Minister Kanda surrenders

After being on the run for 10 days, controversial former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda surrendered before police in the wee hours today and was arrested in connection with the suicide of his former employee Geetika Sharma.

Kanda, who was absconding for the past 10 days after police served him a notice to appear before them to join investigations, surfaced at Bharat Nagar Police Station at 4 am.

Before entering the police station, he told reporters that he was joining investigations as directed by the Delhi Police.

“Kanda has surrendered and we have arrested him,” P Karunakaran, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) told PTI.

Delhi Police had conducted over 60 searches and raids in Haryana, Goa and Siliguri in West Bengal, besides questioning around 30 people in connection with the case. His brother Govind Kanda was also arrested yesterday for allegedly helping Kanda evade police.

Kanda’s employee, Aruna Chaddha, a senior functionary with now defunct MDLR airlines, has already been arrested and is in judicial custody in connection with the suicide of 23-year-old air hostess Geetika Sharma, who allegedly took her life on August 5 at her Ashok Vihar residence.

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

Reacting to Kanda’s surrender, Geetika’s brother Ankit said, “This is a planned and well thought out entry. Now my only fear is that the investigations will be impartial of not. 12 days is enough to destroy evidence.Whatever power Kanda could have used to tamper with evidence he has. The investigation should be transparent.”

“I want his interrogation to be done before camera and a retired judge so that he does not change his statement,” he said.

Ankti said Geetika’s Facebook account has been deactivated and alleged that Kanda was behind it.

“I have informed the DCP about it. I don’t know who or how it was done.Kanda is behind it,” he said.

He also alleged that the Haryana Government is supporting Kanda.

The anticipatory bail plea of Kanda was dismissed by the Delhi High Court yesterday which said that despite being a “free man” he himself did not file it and it was a “sufficient” ground for its rejection.

The court also came down heavily on Delhi Police for not pressing its plea before the magisterial court to search his premises in Haryana.

Without going into the legal and factual contentions raised by Kanda’s lawyer in the day-long hearing, Justice P K Bhasin had said, “In my view, this anticipatory bail application is liable to be rejected, without going into the merits at all, only on the ground that the same has not been filed by the person apprehending his arrest.”

The Rohini Court on Thursday had issued a Non Bailable Warrant (NBW) against Kanda.

Kanda, who was last seen coming out of his Gurgaon residence on August 8, was served with a notice to join investigations on August 7.

Suicide notes are not gospel truth: Kanda’s lawyer

Seeking anticipatory bail, former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, wanted in connection with the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma, told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that suicide notes cannot be taken as “gospel truth”.

“Suicide letters are written in anger and so any allegations can be levelled out of anger,” said senior advocate KTS Tusli, who is representing Kanda. He said the suicide notes left behind by Geetika could not be taken as gospel truth.

The young woman was found hanging from the ceiling of her house here on the night of Aug 4-5.

She left behind two suicide notes, blaming Kanda and Aruna Chaddha, senior executive in Kanda’s group now under arrest, for her suicide.

“I may be fond of her, she may be fond of me but that does not mean I incite her to commit suicide,” Tulsi said defending Kanda.

He said some other evidence was required to hold Kanda responsible for Geetika’s suicide.

“The reason given by trial court while dismissing anticipatory bail were that there was misuse of power by me, I have given preferential treatment to Geetika and I exploited her, but these are not offences under offence of abetment for commission of suicide,” Tulsi said.

He said Geetika was an ambitious girl and suicide was not in her mind.

“Even her mother and brother did not know she could commit suicide, how could I know,” Tulsi argued on Kanda’s behalf.

Appearing for Delhi Police, Additional Solicitor General Sidharth Luthra opposed Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea.

Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea was dismissed Aug 9 by a sessions court that said allegations against him were grave and serious and his bail plea had no merit.

Kanda was booked for abetment to Geetika’s suicide and criminal intimidation. He is yet to appear before Delhi Police for questioning.

Kanda began his career as a petty businessman and later became a millionaire property dealer. He floated MDLR Airlines in 2007.

He was elected to the Haryana assembly as an independent from Sirsa in October 2009. He joined the Congress-led government headed of Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Geetika suicide: Chaddha to be questioned for another day

A Delhi court Saturday extended by a day the police custody of the now-defunct MDLR Airlines’ official Aruna Chaddha in a case related to the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma here Aug 5.

Duty Magistrate Manish Khurana extended the time for custodial interrogation of Chaddha till Sunday after police said her custody was required for recovering documents from her office.

Counsel B.S. Rana appeared for Chaddha, who was arrested Wednesday, and opposed the police plea. Chaddha was Thursday sent to two days’ police custody.

Geetika left a suicide note blaming Chaddha for her extreme step. Geetika also named her ex-employer and Haryana’s former minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the suicide note, police said.

Charges of criminal intimidation have been slapped on Kanda, who was denied anticipatory bail by another Delhi court Thursday. He is yet to appear before investigators for questioning.

Geetika’s body was found hanging in her house in north Delhi’s Ashok Vihar. Her autopsy report confirmed there was no foul play and that she died due to hanging.

Kanda owned the MDLR Airlines where Geetika worked as a flight attendant. After the airlines ceased to function in 2009, she was given a job in another company owned by Kanda. She later quit the company.

According to Geetika’s brother, Gaurav, his sister was being constantly mentally harassed by Kanda and Chaddha.