New Delhi/Sirsa: A Delhi court has issued a non-bailable warrant against former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the Geetika Sharma suicide case. Delhi Police have to arrest the politician before August 24, failing which he will be declared an absconder. Mr Kanda, accused of abetting the suicide of the 23-year-old former air hostess, has been missing for the last eight days.
Ten teams of the Delhi Police have raided and searched many places in Haryana, Delhi, UP, and even Sikkim and Goa, but have failed to trace Mr Kanda. Late last night the police conducted searches in Mr Kanda's hometown, Sirsa. One person, said to be a distant relative, has been detained for questioning.
Geetika Sharma hanged herself at her Delhi home on August 5; she named Mr Kanda and his employee, Aruna Chaddha, in a suicide note, saying they had been harassing her. Mr Kanda, before he went missing, had denied any harassment of Ms Sharma, who had worked in several of his companies in the last six years.
The police has told the High Court, which is hearing Mr Kanda's plea for anticipatory bail, that it needs his custody for interrogation and to confront him with Ms Chaddha, who too is accused of abetting Ms Sharma's suicide and was arrested after questioning on August 8. Her remand in judicial custody was extended by 14 days today.
The Delhi Police has told the High Court that it has prima facie evidence against Mr Kanda and Ms Chaddha, who are charged with abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation of Geetika Sharma. It has also told the court that it suspects the former Haryana minister is destroying evidence. It said both the accused had been pressuring Ms Sharma for a number of years to ensure that she continued to work with Mr Kanda's MDLR group of companies; they even visited Dubai when Ms Sharma was working with an airline there, to coerce her to return, the police has alleged.
The High Court reserved order on Mr Kanda's anticipatory bail plea yesterday. His lawyers moved the High court after a sessions court rejected bail saying allegations against him were grave and serious in nature and that his application was without merit. Mr Kanda's lawyer has argued that prima facie, no case is made out against his client 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," he had said.
Meanwhile, Haryana's Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has denied that his government is protecting his former minister. When asked about Mr Kanda's disappearance, he said the law would take its course. "We are not shielding anybody. If anybody is guilty he will brought to book. If Delhi police need our help, we will offer it," he said.
(With Agency inputs)
Story first published:
August 16, 2012 16:26 IST