HC quashes charges of abetment of rape against Aruna Chadha
The Delhi High Court today quashed fresh charges relating to abetment of rape and unnatural offence invoked against Aruna Chadha, an employee of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, in the air hostess suicide case.
A bench of Justice GP Mittal also allowed the plea of Delhi police seeking to expunge the adverse remarks made against the probe agency and the public prosecutor for not probing the sexual exploitation angle in the case.
The lower court had ordered framing of additional charges against Chadha under section 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offence) read with section 109 (Abetment) of the IPC.
The court on July 16 had reserved its order after hearing arguments on behalf of Delhi Police and Chadha in the case.
Police had moved the high court objecting to the trial court's remark against the probe. The trial court had made the remarks against the agency in its May 10 order on framing of charges.
Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Police, had sought the adverse observations be expunged, saying they were made without any notice to investigators. He had said further investigation into the sexual exploitation aspect has not been stopped.
Chadha had moved the high court challenging the fresh charge of abetment of rape and unnatural offence slapped against her by the trial court on May 10.
Chadha and Kanda have been charged for various offences including rape, unnatural offence, abetment of rape, unnatural offence and suicide, criminal conspiracy, forgery under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for hacking computers and sending offensive or false messages.
The 23-year-old former air hostess, who was earlier employed with Kanda's MLDR airlines, was found dead on August 5, last year 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, 46, and Chadha, 40.
Kanda was arrested on August 18 last year after he surrendered at Ashok Vihar Police Station, while Chadha was apprehended on August 8. Both are in judicial custody.
The police, in its charge sheet filed in October last year, had alleged that Kanda was obsessed with the air hostess and he and Chadha 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.