Geetika suicide: Court directs expeditious investigation
New Delhi: A court here on Monday directed the Home Secretary of Delhi government to ensure expeditious investigation in Geetika Sharma suicide case in which former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda is an accused and criticised the police for causing delay in the proceedings.
"A copy of the order be sent to Secretary, Home, Delhi government, the Director (Prosecution) and the Commissioner of Police with a direction to ensure expeditious investigation in the present case," Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D K Jangala ordered.
The order of the court came after the Delhi Police moved a plea under section 309 CrPC for expeditious proceedings.
While examining the role of the prosecution in the case, the court noted that the Investigating Officer (IO) and the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) had remained absent on several dates of hearing "without any justified grounds".
While noting that the forensic result on electronic data and documents is still awaited, the court said "submissions made by the IO show that not even a single step has been taken by the prosecution to get the results (from FSL) expedited."
"Investigation is being conducted by an officer of the rank of Additional DCP and monitored by District DCP and Joint Commisioner of Police. However, there seems to be very sorry state of affairs that none of these officers took pain to write a priority letter to get the results of FSL expedited.
"It seems that by moving the present application (for speedy trial), the prosecution is just doing lip service instead of having true interest in expeditious proceedings," the court said.
While noting that the probe in the matter is on, that the police have undertaken to file a supplementary a charge- sheet and the FSL results are awaited, the judge said "the Special Public Prosceutor has failed to explain how in these circumstances the trial can be expedited by the court."
"Trial can be expedited by the court only when the prosecution would complete its own investigation," he said.
The court also examined the role of defence counsel to see if they had caused any delay in the proceedings and noted that "not on a single date of hearing the counsel for the accused were unavailable."
It also said moving of application by the accused seeking certain documents cannot be said to have delayed the proceedings and "since the accused persons are behind bars, delay cannot be attributed to them."
The judge also examined the role of the court to ascertain if there was any delay on its part and noted a "perusal of all dates of hearing show that the court has taken every possible step for expeditious proceedings in the present case with not even a single adjournment on the part of the court" and the matter was heard on an average on every third day since the filing of the chargesheet on October 6.
"In the present facts and circumstances, I am of the view that there was no ground for the prosecution to move an application for expeditious proceedings as the proceedings on the part of the court were already being dealt with expeditiously and it was on the part of the prosecution/ police to expedite investigation which prosecution has failed to do."
The court, meanwhile, dismissed Kanda's plea for mirror images of electronic data and documents relied upon by the prosecution saying the police have already undertaken to supply it to them as and when received from the FSL.
Both Kanda and and her aide Aruna Chaddha are accused of
abetting the suicide of Geetika, a former airhostess. She was found dead at her Ashok Vihar residence in Delhi on August 5. In her August 4 suicide note, the victim had said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and Chaddha.
The Delhi police have chargesheeted the duo for abetment of suicide, criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation, destruction of evidence, forgery of valuable security, forgery with intention to cheat and harm reputation and using forged documents as genuine under IPC.
They have also been booked under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act dealing with hacking of computers.