Delhi HC Reserves Order on Gopal Kanda's Bail Plea
Delhi Police today opposed the bail plea of absconding former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, key accused in former airhostess Geetika Sharma suicide case, in the High Court saying it needed to quiz him to find the missing computers and other crucial evidence.
An absconding accused does not deserve anticipatory bail as "there is an answer to be given to the society, the dead soul and the victim's family," Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Siddharth Luthra told Justice P K Bhasin of Delhi High Court.
Justice Bhasin, who reserved the verdict on the plea of Kanda after hearing the day-long arguments, made certain queries from the ASG on Kanda's plea that no case of abatement of suicide was made out against him as he neither "incited" nor "urged" or "provoked" the victim to end her life.
"As of now, I cannot share much about the outcome of the investigation but I can say that there was sufficient prima facie evidence to indicate that the accused abetted the offence," the ASG said and referred to various statements, including the victim's suicide note, in the court.
"There is no computer (of victim, co-accused Aruna Chaddha and Kanda) in the office. He does not join the probe. How can the investigation progress? His custodial interrogation is needed to find out the conspiracy aspect between the accused (Kanda) and his employee Chaddha against Sharma.
"We have call details about the conversation among the accused, co-accused and the victim, which needs to be investigated and corroborated upon," the ASG said.
Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for Kanda, started the argument with the claim that no case of abatement of suicide was made out against him.
"I was her employer and you cannot hang me with the next pole just because of the fact that I knew her," he said.
During the argument, Tulsi said "prima facie, no case is made out against Kanda on the basis of the FIR and the suicide note. The suicide note cannot be treated as the gospel truth and the same has to be proved by independent evidence."
Referring to the ingredients of Section 306 (abatement of suicide) of IPC, the lawyer said "none of them is satisfied, the requirement of law is.. I must be accused of having goaded her to commit suicide. I must incite or encourage her to commit the act."
He assailed the trial court's order refusing Kanda the anticipatory bail.
"The court was wrong in saying that it is a classic case of misuse of power and position, she (victim) was given preferential treatment and was also exploited by the accused. None of the reasons has anything to do with the essential ingredients of the offence. The reasons given by the trial court were not the ingredients of the offence," he said.
There was no "proximate" act alleged to have been committed by Kanda before the incident and "even her mother or brother had never suspected that she would end her life. I am not alleged to have any contact with her as per the FIR," Tulsi said.
Referring to the suicide note, he said "of course, people do not contact lawyers before penning down the dying declaration but the allegations therein do not suggest that I incited her to commit suicide.
"I may be fond of her. I wanted to be close to her.. That does not mean that I incited her to commit suicide. Where is the mens rea (intention to commit offence)? There has to be clear mens rea as per the law. My intention was that she should work in my company but not her to commit suicide."
Tulsi referred to various judgements to drive home his plea that a person cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself.
"I was summoned as a witness under section 160 of the CrPC and I have a reasonable apprehension that I might be arrested like co-accused Chaddha by the police," he said, adding police are working under media pressure.
"The entire police force is geared up against me. I was a minister and I am also entitled to a fair trial. Investigation can also be carried out without his arrest," he said.
To this, the ASG countered "police are busy with preparation of the Independence day and Ramdev's agitation. The entire police force is not after you".
The life of a young lady, who wanted to get out of the clutches of the accused, has been lost, he said and referred to the list of dates of events to drive home the allegation that Kanda exerted "pressures" on Geetika leading to her death.
Without revealing the contents, the ASG gave some documents to the court and said the police have recorded the statements of a doctor who reportedly supervised the abortion of foetus of Geetika.
He also referred to the post mortem report to establish that the victim died after she hanged self.
A lot of investigation is yet to be carried out on various aspects such as that the victim was "forced" by Kanda to take back an FIR lodged in Goa against one Ankita, he said adding the role of main accused and Chaddha is to be ascertained about their visit to Dubai to ensure that Geetika comes back to their firm.
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