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)

Police opposes bail to Kanda in Geetika suicide case

kanda-mainSeeking cancellation of the bail granted to Gopal Goyal Kanda in the air-hostess suicide case, the Delhi Police on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that me-dical documents submitted before the trial court regarding health of the former Haryana minister’s wife were “dubious”.

Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the Delhi Police, told Justice V P Vaish that the verification of the medical records of the OPD of DDU Hospital had revealed the name on the records was not that of Kanda’s wife Saraswati Devi, but a woman named Meera Devi.

Luthra argued the bail had “seriously prejudiced” the trial as the lower court had granted relief to Kanda even though there was “no change in circumstances”. “There are serious apprehensions of tampering of evidence,” argued Luthra, adding the period in custody had not been extremely long. “Cases based on documentary evidence are different. When it comes to a case where loss of life is involved, the period of custody should be looked at differently,” he said.

(Source: PTI)

 

 

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)

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

Kanda sent to judicial custody till Sept 11 in Geetika case

Former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, key accused in the Geetika Sharma suicide case, was on Tuesday sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Delhi court.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D K Jangala remanded Kanda to judicial custody till September 11 after the Delhi police said he was not required for further custodial interrogation.

Kanda was produced before the court after expiry of three days of police custody, which was extended on August 25 after seven days of custodial interrogation.

Kanda was arrested on August 18 after he had surrendered before the police, almost 13 days after former airhostess Geetika Sharma was found dead on August 5 at her Ashok Vihar residence in northwest Delhi.

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

Kanda sent to judicial custody till Sept 11 in the Geetika case. He also moved an application for a separate vehicle for transporation from Tihar jail to court saying that currently he is a member of legislative assembly from Sirsa, Haryana and till recently, he was the minister of home affairs of the state and feared from being attacked in jail van.

The court allowed Kanda’s plea for a separate vehicle for transportation to and from Tihar jail and court. “In the fact and circumstances, considering security and safety of the accused, his applications are allowed, because it relates to personal safety,” the court said.

The application filed through advocate Somesh Arora said till now Kanda was under police protection but now he has been remanded to judicial custody, “there is strong possibility of physical attack upon him during the transportation from Tihar jail to court”.

The court also allowed Kanda plea that he is a patient of high blood pressure and he be allowed to carry his medicines in the jail.

Earlier, the police had said that Kanda was evasive in his answers and the investigators had sought his custody to recover his and Geetika’s mobile phones and missing hard disk of his computer installed at his house.

On August 16, a magisterial court had issued a non-bailable warrant against the former Haryana minister.

The court had asked the police to execute the arrest warrant by August 24.

Earlier, Kanda’s anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a sessions court and the Delhi high court.

Kanda’s employee, Aruna Chaddha, a senior functionary with now defunct MDLR airlines, arrested on August 8 is also in judicial custody in connection with the suicide of 23-year-old airhostess Geetika Sharma.

Both Kanda and Chaddha have denied the allegations.

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.