Haryana MLA Gopal Kanda’s legal woes far from over
Kanda continues to face trial in the case of Geetika Sharma’s suicide which is now in the evidence stage in a trial court
Former Haryana minister and businessman Gopal Kanda may have won an electoral battle in the Haryana polls from the Sirsa Assembly seat, and was even for a brief time seen to be a ‘kingmaker’ after the BJP fell short of a majority in the state. But his legal troubles are far from over.
As per the affidavit filed by him with the Election Commission of India (ECI), accessed by National Heraldon its website, Kanda has declared that there are as many as 9 criminal cases pending against him as on date.
Five of these are cheque bouncing cases pending in various district courts in Delhi, one relates to an FIR (no. 177) lodged against him by the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police in 2018 for cheating and conspiracy under Sections 409, 420, 465, 471 and 120D of the Indian Penal Code.
Kanda’s real legal troubles relate to two FIRs lodged at Bharat Nagar Police Station in 2012 and 2013, after Geetika Sharma (23), an airhostess who worked for his erstwhile airline MDLR, committed suicide, followed by her mother Anuradha killing herself six months later. He has been charged with abetment to suicide, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy, forgery, etc.
Geetika’s suicide note, found after she killed herself on August 5, 2012 at her Ashok Vihar residence in North West Delhi, accused Kanda and one of his close aides and employee Aruna Chadha, of “misusing me for their benefit” and “taking advantage of me”. She also accused Kanda of “ruining my life” and trying to “sabotage my family”.
At the time, a Delhi court had also, on its own, added charges against both Kanda and Chadha for rape (Section 376) and unnatural sex (Section 377). Kanda was jailed for a year-and-a-half and granted bail on March 4, 2014 after the charge of rape was dropped by the Delhi High Court. He continues to face trial in the suicide case relating to Geetika, which is now in the evidence stage in a trial court. In Anuradha’s case, Kanda got a stay on the order summoning him as an accused.
The trial recently saw a few twists and turns when the special prosecutor appointed in the case remained absent during the hearings.
Miffed with this, the court directed the home department special secretary and a senior police officer to explain how the state intended to prosecute the case.
“When the special public prosecutor is not appearing and the director (prosecution) has shown his inability to depute any prosecutor, this court is constrained to issue notice to the special secretary (home department), Delhi government as well as Rajiv Ranjan, additional DCP, to appear and apprise this court how the state intends to prosecute this case,” special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar had said.
Subsequently, the director of prosecution informed the court though a letter that the case was assigned to a different prosecutor. On the last hearing on October 11 this year, the court took note of the letter. The accused, through his counsel RS Malik, had also sought exemption from appearance as he was contesting the Assembly polls.
Police had filed a closure report in Anuradha’s case in a magisterial court on April 2, 2017. But the court issued summons to Kanda to appear as accused on March 18 this year. Kanda challenged the summons arguing that the mother committed suicide six months after Geetika’s death while he was in jail. A sessions court on April 6, 2019, stayed the summoning.
The trial has now been posted on November 27 and 28 for prosecution evidence.