Former Haryana Minister Gopal Goyal Kanda will face charges of rape and abetment of suicide after a Delhi court on Friday put him on trial in air hostess Geetika Sharma's suicide case.
The court also framed charges of abeting rape and suicide of the 23-year-old victim against Kanda's aide and an employee of MDLR company, Aruna Chadha.
District Judge S K Sarvaria framed charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery under Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act relating to hacking of computer and sending offensive or false messages on Kanda and Chadha.
"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.
"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.
With Friday’s order, the suicide case has been converted into a sexual offence case in which name of the victim cannot be mentioned henceforth.
After framing charges, the district judge has sent the matter for trial before the fast track court dealing with sexual offence cases. The court has fixed the matter for May 27 for recording of prosecution evidence.
The charges of rape and unnatural sex were not invoked against them by the Delhi Police in its chargesheet.
The former air hostess, who was earlier employed with Kanda's MLDR airlines, was found dead on August 5 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 forced to resign from his post of minister of state for home following the registration of the case.