Fresh case registered against Gopal Kanda



New Delhi: A fresh case was registered here against former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, an accused in the Geetika Sharma suicide case, for not appearing before a court in a 14-year-old dud cheque matter, police said on Wednesday.

Kanda is in 14-day judicial custody till September 11, for allegedly abetting the suicide of 23-year-old former flight attendant Geetika.

On the direction of a court, Kanda and his brother Govind, were declared proclaimed offenders in the cheque-bounce case, which they had settled out of court last month.

A senior police official said they registered a case under Section 174-A (punishment for non-appearance in response to court proclamation) against the brothers in Connaught Place police station on Tuesday on court's direction.

While directing the registration of case, the court said evading court summons and warrants is different from cheque-bounce case and acquittal in one case does not absolve anyone of the second offence.

"The offence under Section 174 A (proclaimed offender) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act (cheque-bounce case) are two distinct offences. The acquittal of the accused in the compoundable offence under section 138...does not bar investigation into the offence under Section 174 A IPC," Metropolitan Magistrate Vikrant Vaid had said.

Both the brothers faced summons and then warrants by the Delhi court ever since the 1998 case when Rs 4 lakh cheque issued by Kanda had bounced. But the two failed to appear before it.

But, finally in May this year, the court declared both of the brothers proclaimed offenders for not heeding its repeated summons and warrants to appear before it.

On August 18, Govind was arrested for helping Kanda escape police in the suicide case.

On the same day, the court of Metropolitan Magistrate (Saket court) Vikrant Vaid, while granting bail to Govind in the cheque-bounce case, also asked police to file a reply on the steps taken against Kanda for ignoring the court's order for appearing before it despite various summons.

The court asked the police to give reply August 27.

Although, the case of bounced cheque was sorted out between the two parties August 27, police failed to give their reply why no action was taken against Kanda for ignoring court's summons.

If Kanda brothers are convicted under Section 174 A of the IPC, they could get a maximum punishment of three years.

Kanda had resigned as Harayna's minister of state for home after he was charged with abetting the suicide of Geetika Sharma.

Geetika in her suicide note had accused Kanda of harassing her and forcing her to commit suicide. She died on the night of August 4-5 at her house in New Delhi. Kanda has denied the allegation.

IANS