Former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda has been granted bail by a Delhi court in a case registered against him and his brother Govind for allegedly evading court proceedings in a 14-year-old cheque bounce case.
Gopal Kanda, however, would continue to be in jail under judicial custody in the case lodged against him for allegedly abetting the suicide of 23-year-old former air hostess Geetika Sharma.
Gopal and Govind are named as accused in the case related to avoidance of court proceedings in the cheque bounce case. Govind is on interim bail in the case till October 31.
Additional sessions judge Neena Bansal Krishna granted bail to Gopal Kanda on a personal bond of Rs. 25,000 saying he is unlikely to tamper with the evidence.
"Considering that there is no likely of tampering with the evidence, the applicant/accused is admitted to the bail on his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs. 25,000 with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of court concerned," the court said.
The court granted bail to Gopal also considering that he was "an absconder in a complaint case under Section 138 NI Act and that he has already put in his appearance in the said case and the matter has been settled and he has been acquitted."
During the hearing, investigating officer (IO) inspector Ravi Kant and public prosecutor RK Pandey took opposite stands on Gopal's bail plea.
While the IO opposed the bail plea saying that Gopal was not available at his known addresses, the prosecutor said he has no objection if Gopal is given bail.
Seeking bail for Gopal, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta argued that his client is in custody for over a month in the case related to the avoidance of court proceedings in the cheque bounce case while he has already been acquitted in the main case.
Gupta argued that the magistrate had declared Gopal as a proclaimed offender as he did not appear before him in the cheque bounce case but the fact is that the police had not properly served the summon to the former minister, who is a public figure.
A trial court had earlier dismissed Gopal's bail plea.
The case against Kanda brothers for evading the court was registered by the Delhi Police on a court's direction after they were declared proclaimed offenders in the cheque bounce case which they had settled in August this year in an out-of-court agreement.
The police had registered the case against the Kanda brothers under section 174-A (punishment for non-appearance in response to court proclamation) of the IPC which entails a jail term up to three years.
The Kanda brothers had been facing the court summons and warrants since 1998 in the cheque bounce case related to the dishonour of a Rs. 2 lakh cheque issued by them.
The cheque bounce case was settled between the two parties on August 27 after the brothers paid the amount to the complainant.
In the Geetika suicide case, Gopal and his aide Aruna Chaddah have been charge sheeted under various provisions of the IPC relating to the abetment of suicide, criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation, destruction of evidence and forgery. They have also been booked under the Information Technology Act which deals with hacking of computers.
Geetika was found dead on August 5 at her Ashok Vihar residence in North West Delhi. In her August 4 suicide note, she had said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and Chaddah, a charge denied by them.
Kanda was arrested on August 18 after he had surrendered before the police and Chaddah was arrested on August 8.