Court denies anticipatory bail to Kanda

The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Haryana's former minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, accused of abetting the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma, on technical grounds without going into the merits of the case.

Justice P.K. Bhasin said: "In my view, this anticipatory bail application is liable to be rejected, without going into the merits at all, only on the ground that the same has not been filed by the person (Kanda) apprehending his arrest."

The court dismissed the plea, observing that the affidavit filed with the bail application was not signed by Kanda, but was signed by his brother.  

The court observed that Kanda "appears to be sitting comfortably somewhere without any apprehension of his arrest by the police and that circumstance also appears to be the reason for his not claiming anticipatory bail himself".

"The present anticipatory bail application has been filed on the instruction of one Govind Kumar, who claims himself to be the brother and 'pairokaar' of Gopal Goyal Kanda," Justice Bhasin said.

"In the entire application, not even a word has been said as to why Gopal Goyal Kanda himself had not sworn an affidavit in support of this application if at all he had filed the same," Justice Bhasin said, dismissing the plea.

"I also find one vakalatnama (power of attorney) on record which purports to have been signed by Gopal Goyal Kanda in favour of some advocates. This vakalatnama is shown to have been executed by Gopal Goyal Kanda on Aug 13, 2012. 

"However, one of the advocates, whose name appears to be Mr. Ravinder Singh, has put his signatures for identifying the executant of the vakalatnama but that advocate had put his signatures on Aug 8, 2012. That creates a suspicion in the mind of the Court regarding the genuineness of this vakalatnama also."

"In any event, if this anticipatory bail application had actually been moved by Gopal Goyal Kanda himself and he had engaged advocates for that purpose by signing vakalatnama in their favour then there was no occasion for his brother/'pairokaar' to have given instructions to any counsel for filing this anticipatory bail application and that too without any authorisation in his favour from Gopal Goyal Kanda and also without any reason for Gopal Goyal Kanda himself not giving any instructions to his own advocates for filing anticipatory bail application on his behalf."

"Considering the fact that Gopal Goyal Kanda is a free man, at least at the present point of time, he alone could have moved the anticipatory bail application supported by his own affidavit and in the absence of his having done that, this application cannot be considered by this court to have actually been filed by him," the court added.

The former Haryana minister was booked for abetment to Geetika's suicide and criminal intimidation. He is yet to appear before Delhi Police for questioning.

Geetika, 23, was found hanging from the ceiling of her house in north Delhi's Ashok Vihar on Aug 5. She left behind two suicide notes, blaming Kanda and his employee Aruna Chaddha, who is now in judicial custody.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devender Kumar Jangala, Thursday also issued non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Kanda, the victim's employer, and fixed Aug 24 for hearing.

The court had also sent Chaddha, a senior executive in Kanda's group and employee of his now-defunct MDLR Airlines, to judicial custody till Aug 30. She was arrested Aug 8.

Geetika earlier worked as a flight attendant in the MDLR Airlines owned by Kanda. After the airlines ceased to function in 2009, she was given a job in another company owned by him.

Kanda moved high court seeking anticipatory bail after sessions court Aug 9 dismissed his plea.

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