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Geetika suicide: Kanda charged with rape, abetment of suicide

Geetika suicide: Kanda charged with rape, abetment of suicide

New Delhi: A Delhi Court Friday framed charges against ex-Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda for raping and abetting the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma.

District Judge S.K Sarvaria also framed charges of abeting rape and suicide of Geetika against Kanda's employee Aruna Chadha.

They have also been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for hacking of computer and sending offensive or false messages.

The charges of rape, unnatural sex and its abetment were framed against Kanda and Chadha by the court on its own on the basis of material on record. The Delhi Police in its charge sheet had not invoked offences of rape and unnatural sex against the accused.

"I hold that prima facie charges under sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery with intention to cheat), 469 (forgery with intention to harm reputation) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) are made out against Gopal Kanda and Aruna Chadha," the court said.

"Further, prima facie charges under sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural sex) are made out against Kanda and charge under section 376 read with 109 (abetment to rape) is made out against Chadha," said the district judge, who after framing charges, sent the matter for trial before the fast track court dealing with sexual offence cases.

The court has fixed the matter for May 27 for recording of prosecution's evidence.

From now on, the name of the victim cannot be mentioned in future as the court Friday converted the suicide case into a sexual offence case.

Geetika, 23, was found hanging from the ceiling of a room at her Ashok Vihar house in north Delhi on August 5 last year.

She left behind two suicide notes blaming Kanda and Chaddha, a former official in Kanda's now-defunct MDLR Airlines where Geetika had worked. Both are now in judicial custody and have denied any involvement in the suicide.

Police had in its charge sheet said that Kanda was obsessed with Geetika and he and Chaddha had unleashed a series of wilful and malicious acts of mental torture, threat, blackmail and stress on her which led her to take the extreme step.

"Pressure was created on her mind to make her submit to the illegal and lustful wishes of Kanda," they claimed.

The investigating agency in its supplementary charge sheet had said that its probe showed that "Kanda tried to get back Geetika from Emirates Airlines with the ulterior motive of sexually exploiting her".

Chaddha had also taken Geetika for abortion at a private clinic in south Delhi, said the police and the doctor had also been made a prosecution witness.

Kanda was arrested Aug 18, 2012 after he surrendered at north Delhi's Ashok Vihar police station while Chaddha was apprehended Aug 8, 2012. Police filed the charge sheet Oct 6, 2012.

The Delhi High Court had rejected the bail plea of Kanda on Nov 19, 2012 and Chaddha on Dec 3, 2012.

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