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Gopal Kanda charged with rape of air hostess

FAST TRACK COURT TO DECIDE Chadha faces abetment charge; court says police probe ‘tainted,stinking’

FAST TRACK COURT TO DECIDE Chadha faces abetment charge; court says police probe ‘tainted,stinking’

A city court framed charges of rape,unnatural sex,forgery and criminal conspiracy against former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda,apart from abetment to suicide of a 23-year-old airhostess who had worked in his firm,MDLR airlines.

Co-accused Aruna Chadha faces charges of abetment of rape and unnatural sex,abetment to suicide,criminal conspiracy and forgery.

“Prima facie charges under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide),120-B (criminal conspiracy),468 (forgery with intention to cheat),469 (forgery with intention to harm reputation) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) are made out against Gopal Kanda and Aruna Chadha,” the court said. “Further,prima facie charges under Sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural sex) are made out against Kanda and charge under Section 376 read with 109 (abetment to rape) is made out against Chadha,” the judge said.

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Although the name of the victim has been published in media reports,it is no longer permissible since Kanda has been charged with rape.

The woman,who was found dead in her Ashok Vihar residence in Northwest Delhi on August 5 last year,had said in a note that she was ending her life due to harassment by Kanda and Chadha. The two were arrested after a lengthy investigation,and have remained in judicial custody since then.

In a 71-page order framing charges against the two accused,District and Sessions Judge S K Sarvaria held that the prosecution had “prima facie established that accused Gopal Goyal Kanda has repeatedly committed rape upon deceased victim during the period of her employment with MDLR”.

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Noting that the woman had attempted to leave the company multiple times,the court observed that Kanda had used pressure tactics and allurements to make her return to the company. The court also observed that the post-mortem report had indicated that the woman had been sexually exploited and forced to undergo unnatural sexual activity.

“Where was the need for chairman and managing director of the company MDLR to go thrice to Dubai to call her back when she did not possess any specialised skill or educational qualification?” the court observed.

The court also held that the defence could not claim that the woman had given her consent for the sexual relations. “Even if the court assumes that the initial consent was proper and sexual acts were not committed against her will,the said consent cannot be deemed to be continued in view of the fact that the deceased victim had left the MDLR again and again and was forced by the accused persons to join back by creation of unfavourable circumstances,” the court said.

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The prosecution had earlier told the court that there was no direct evidence to say that Kanda had raped the woman.

“In the supplementary challan,which is mainly against co-accused Chanshivroop,there is specific observation of the investigating officer that Gopal Goyal Kanda and Aruna Chadha tried to get back the deceased victim from Emirates Airlines with ulterior motive of sexually exploiting her. Even now,the investigation into this aspect can be carried out by investigating agency under Section 173 (8) CrPC. Will it do it?” the court said.

The court pulled up the police for its “tainted and stinking” investigation,observing that Kanda was a “powerful politician”.

“Not only is the investigation of the case tainted and stinking,the manner in which the confession of the other co-accused Chanshivroop was recorded under Section 164 of CrPC and the fact that the said co-accused,who was on police bail,has run away to the United States and the investigating agency is not making any serious efforts to extradite him suggest that the accused Gopal Goyal Kanda is still influencing the criminal justice administration by employing various indirect means and in my view,such a person will keep influencing the criminal process till the time the co-accused Chanshivroop is apprehended and brought back to India.”

The court asked the Police Commissioner “for information and necessary action.”

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The case has now been transferred to the special fast track court for sexual offences. The court of Additional Sessions Judge MC Gupta will now examine the evidence in the case from May 27.

First published on: 11-05-2013 at 03:06 IST
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