Geetika suicide: Chaddha's judicial custody to end tomorrow

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Geetika Sharma
New Delhi, Aug 20: A Delhi court today rejected the police plea for the custody of former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda's employee Aruna Chaddha "to confront" her with the former minister during his questioning in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Vipin Kharb said he was not satisfied with the application for Chaddha's police custody for another three days and added that the police can file a fresh application for it.

Chaddha, who had been remanded on Aug 16 to 14-day judicial custody, was produced before the court which sent her back to judicial custody for a day till tomorrow.


"The prosecution failed to show documents which could show that the accused need to be confronted with the documents recovered after the arrest of Kanda," the magistrate said.

Kanda was sent to seven-day police custody on Aug 18 following his surrender and subsequent arrest and as a part of investigation, he was taken to various places including his offices in Haryana from where the Delhi Police claimed to have recovered certain documents including various electronic devices.

Chaddha was arrested on August 8, when she was called by the police for questioning and was later sent to judicial custody on August 16.

23-year-old Geetika was found hanging in her flat in North West Delhi on August 5. In the suicide note found at her residence, she had said she was ending her life due to harassment by Kanda and MDLR official Aruna Chaddha. Both Kanda and Chaddha have been accused of abetting Geetika's suicide.

While rejecting the plea for Chaddha's police custody, the court said, "Perusal of the police record did not show any recovery memo or any document through which it can be shown that police has recovered hard disks with respect to the contents the police wants to confront her with."

"Despite having been given the opportunity, police could not show any document that they have recovered the hard disks. Therefore, the application of police seeking police custody is hereby dismissed and accused is sent to the judicial custody till tomorrow," the judge said.

"Police are at liberty to move fresh application for seeking police custody before the concerned court tomorrow," he said.

Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan had said Chaddha needed to be confronted with Kanda as documents recovered during the probe indicated that she was acting at his behest against the victim.

"Mail contents and SMSs and the phone call details point accused Aruna Chaddha's involvement in instigating Geetika to commit suicide, so she need to be confronted.

"After Kanda's arrest, we have recovered hard disks, some society registration papers and threatening e-mail letter sent from MDLR group companies on behalf of Kanda. So, presently Aruna is to be confronted face to face with Kanda," he said.

"Aruna Chaddha played a vital role in instigating Geetika Sharma to commit suicide on the behest of Gopal Kanda, a high-profile politician," the prosecutor said. He also said all the e-mails sent to Geetika were generated through the MDLR group firm with the accused being its part.

Chaddha's counsel Kriti Uppal, however, said if the probe agency has seized the hard disks and documents, they can now find out as to who had sent the written content to whom and on whose behalf.

The counsel said, "Confrontation can also be done while Aruna is in judicial custody. I am not opposing that as they have the full right to interrogate the accused while she is in jail."

"As accused was already interrogated and everything within her knowledge was recovered, so, there is no requirement for giving her custody to the police," the counsel said.

PTI

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