New Delhi/Gurgaon: A non-bailable warrant has been issued against former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the Geetika Sharma suicide case. Mr Kanda, the key accused in the case, has been absconding for the last 11 days.
The Delhi Police carried out raids last night in his hometown, Sirsa, and detained for questioning a man named Bunty Bansal, from the house of one of the politician's relatives. Mr Kanda is accused of abetting the suicide of 23-year-old former air hostess Geetika Sharma and has been on the run since August 8 to avoid arrest.
The Delhi Police has already raided and searched about 50 places and questioned more than 25 people, including Goa, Sikkim and Uttar Pradesh, but has been unable to trace the missing former minister. The police 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 his employee Aruna Chaddha, who too is accused of abetting Ms Sharma's suicide and was arrested after questioning on August 8. Ms Chaddha will be produced in court today.
Geetika Sharma hanged herself at her home on August 5; she named both Mr Kanda and Ms 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 Delhi Police 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. 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.
Haryana's Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has washed his hands of the case, denying 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 PTI inputs)
Story first published:
August 16, 2012 09:01 IST