After spending over 18 months in jail in connection with the suicide of airhostess Geetika Sharma, former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda was today granted bail by a Delhi court, which said he has "social roots" and cannot flee from justice.
Additional Sessions Judge Yashwant Kumar allowed the bail plea of Kanda, saying he had abided by the court's order when he was out on interim bail for a month in September last year to attend the state assembly session.
It, however, imposed several conditions on Kanda.
The court also directed Kanda to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and two sureties of the like amount.
Giving reasons for allowing Kanda on bail, the court said the investigation in the matter is over and police has also seized all the articles related to the case.
It also said the accused has social roots in the society and there are less chances of his fleeing from the "court of law".
Kanda had surrendered before police on August 18, 2012 while Aruna Chadha, Kanda's employee and co-accused in the case, was arrested on August 8, 2012.
Chadha and Kanda are accused of abetting the suicide of the 23-year-old former airhostess who was earlier employed in Kanda's MDLR airlines.
Both the accused have also been charged with forgery for cheating and harming the reputation of the victim.
The airhostess was found dead on August 5, 2012 at her Ashok Vihar residence in northwest Delhi. In her suicide note, she had said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and Chadha.
The sessions judge, in the over 40-page order, also noted that the Delhi high court had quashed the framing of charges of rape and carnal intercourse against Kanda.
However, the two will face trial for entering into a criminal conspiracy to abet the airhostess to commit suicide and other offences under Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
The court has also taken his conduct during judicial custody while releasing him on bail.
The police, during the hearing, had opposed the bail plea of the politician, saying he may influence witnesses and tamper with the evidence.
However, the prosecution's contention was opposed by the counsel for Kanda, who had told the judge that he will abide by the court's order in case he is granted relief.
Kanda had approached the court on February 17 seeking bail on the ground that he has to look after his ailing wife.
He had said he is under judicial custody for the last 18 months and the probe into the case has also been completed.
Kanda's counsel had also told the court that the charges of sexual exploitation has been dropped against him by the Delhi high court and earlier bail applications of his client were rejected on the ground that there were serious charges of sexual exploitation against him.
The high court had recently granted bail to Chadha.
The trial in the case had begun on May 27 last year when the court recorded the statements of eight witnesses, including police personnel and the doctor who had conducted the postmortem of the victim.
Image: Geetika Sharma and Gopal Goyal Kanda