Former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda, an accused in airhostess Geetika Sharma suicide case, was on Monday denied bail by a Delhi court which said the stage of the trial is at the threshold and considering his power and status, his mere presence is likely to intimidate witnesses.
"I am not inclined to release accused Gopal Goyal Kanda on bail," Additional sessions judge MC Gupta said having regard to "the serious and grave nature of allegations against the accused and also that the recording of the prosecution evidence is on the threshold and material and public witness, inclusive of witnesses who are/were employees of accused, are yet to be examined...
"...also keeping in view the power, position and status of accused, his mere presence at large, in circumstances of the case, is likely to intimidate and tamper with witnesses regarding which apprehension has also been expressed on behalf of the state," the court said.
A sitting MLA from Sirsa, Kanda had sought bail saying the investigation pertaining to him is complete, the police have already filed the charge sheet and he has been in custody since August 2012.
To this, the court said, "Grant of bail is not a mathematical equation oblivious to the fair criminal trial and larger public interest wherein mere submission like investigation is complete, charge sheet has been filed, there are large number of witnesses, completion of trial will take time and the accused is running in judicial custody for long, will not automatically lead to setting the accused at liberty on bail."
The ASJ, however, noted that nothing in his order shall amount to expression of opinion on the merits of the case.
Kanda and his employee Aruna Chadha are facing charges of abetting suicide of Geetika Sharma, who was employed in Kanda's MDLR airlines.
The duo has also been charged with forgery for cheating and harming the reputation of the victim and booked under the Information Technology Act for sending fake e-mails to her.
On October 4, Kanda had surrendered before the court after his month-long interim bail to attend Haryana Assembly session expired and the court refused to extend the same. He had then moved a plea for regular bail.