Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess with Gopal Kanda’s MLDR airlines, was found dead in her Delhi residence in 2012. In her suicide note, she alleged “harassment” by Kanda and Aruna Chadha, another accused, who was acquitted in the suicide case.
A Delhi court on Tuesday acquitted former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda in a case of abetment of the suicide of former air hostess Geetika Sharma.
Special judge Vikas Dhull acquitted Gopal Kanda and his associate Aruna Chadha of all charges including abetment of suicide, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and forgery.
The court asked Gopal Kanda to submit Rs 1 lakh in personal bond and remain present if the police filed an appeal against his acquittal.
Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess with Gopal Kanda’s MLDR airlines, who was later elevated as a director of one of his companies, was found dead on August 5, 2012, at her Ashok Vihar residence in northwest Delhi.
In her August 4 suicide note, she said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Gopal Kanda and Aruna Chadha.
Geetika Sharma’s mother had also committed suicide six months after her daughter’s death. The family alleged that heartbreak and harassment caused due to the police and court proceedings were responsible for her demise.
Gopal Kanda (46), an influential politician and businessman, was a minister in the erstwhile Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in Haryana. He was forced to resign as minister of state for home following the registration of the case.
He is the leader of the Haryana Lokhit Party and an MLA from the Sirsa Assembly constituency in Haryana.
In 2019, Gopal Kanda announced unconditional support to the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in the state. He was also recently invited to the recent meeting of the NDA alliance parties in Delhi.
Gopal Kanda was facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 306 (abetment of suicide), 506 (criminal intimidation), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 466 (forgery).
A trial court had also framed charges of rape (376) and 377 (unnatural sex) against him but the Delhi High Court quashed them.
Speaking to India Today after the verdict, Gopal Kanda said the case against him was “political” and that there was “no evidence against him”.
His lawyer RS Malik told India Today that the court had noted that there was “no clear evidence” against Gopal Kanda. A detailed order copy is likely to be released by the court this evening.
Geetika Sharma’s brother Ankit, who has been appearing before the court as a complainant, told India Today that the family was “extremely depressed and disturbed” by the verdict.
“We will be considering all our legal options,” he told India Today.