Former Haryana Minister Gopal Goyal Kanda will be arrested - just as soon as the police can find him. A court in Delhi on Thursday refused to grant anticipatory bail to Mr Kanda, who is missing, but was represented in court by his lawyers.
Mr Kanda has been charged with abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation - his former employee, an air hostess named Geetika Sharma, hung herself at her home over the weekend. In a note found in her bedroom, she blamed him and a senior executive named Anuradha Chadha, who works for him.
Today, Haryana Chief Minister Bhoopinder Singh Hooda said Mr Kanda is not a minister in his government. "He was my minister, but he has resigned. And I have accepted his resignation. I am law abiding man and any man who flouts the law doesn't have my approval. He (Kanda) should join investigation," Mr Hooda said. The law is taking its own course, he added.
Geetika's post-mortem has ruled out the possibility of any foul play in her death. "The cause of death is suicide... the death was by hanging. There are no suspicious marks on the body. The time of suicide was one and a half days before the post-mortem, which is early morning on Sunday," said Deputy Commissioner of Police, P Karunakaran.
The police have now issued a look-out notice against the former Haryana minister. A senior police official said all airports have also been alerted to ensure that Mr Kanda does not fly out of the country.
Questions are now being raised whether the delay by the police in taking action helped the former Haryana minister evade arrest. Six police teams are looking for Mr Kanda who skipped an appointment yesterday with the police which wanted to question him. The police have searched his farmhouse at Gurgaon, and his home and office in his constituency of Sirsa. They are now questioning his close relatives and friends. Sources say the police have also traced a woman, who according Geetika's suicide note, had an illicit relationship with Mr Kanda.
In court yesterday, Mr Kanda's lawyers described Ms Sharma as "a hyper-sensitive girl" with "mixed emotions of love and hatred" for Mr Kanda. They said she acted "jilted."
"If a person has approached court for anticipatory bail, how can he be absconding? The arrest is not punitive, it's only preventive," Mr Kanda's lawyer KTS Tulsi said today. He added that the case is being blown out of proportion. "Not a single allegation in suicide note or FIR qualify for aiding and abetting the suicide," Mr Tulsi said.
Ms Sharma's family says that in the days before she died, the politician called her repeatedly, blackmailing and threatening her. Hours before she hung herself, he also called her mother, claims Ms Sharma's family.
"I want to say that we have full faith in judiciary. If police, media and judiciary is with us than our case will be clear. Judiciary will help us," said Anuradha Sharma, Geetika's mother.
"At the end of the day we want him to be arrested, charges should be put against him," said Ankit Sharma, Geetika's brother.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamata Sharma met Geetika's family and assured all help. "I just met with the family, we will support them... They need lawyer, and we will provide them lawyer free of cost," she said.
Ms Sharma added, "Two people have been arrested and I hope Kanda will be arrested soon. We will ensure that this happened."
Before he went missing, Mr Kanda told NDTV that he had not been in touch with Ms Sharma for two months, which he planned to prove through cellphone records. However, the police have identified a man who worked for him who allegedly gave the former minister his SIM card, allowing Mr Kanda to call the air hostess from a number not registered as his own.