A Delhi court Saturday sent former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, accused of abetting the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma, to seven days police custody for his questioning.
Metropolitan Magistrate Devender Kumar Jangala sent Kanda to police custody for questioning, recovering documents and computer hard drives missing from his office and collection of details of email addresses and phone call records.
The court allowed Kanda's plea to meet his advocate during interrogation.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jangala said: "I am of the considered opinion that seven days police custody of the accused Gopal Goyal Kanda shall be sufficient for interrogation and recovery of alleged material."
The court said that Kanda be presented in court Aug 25 after medical examination.
"In the present case it is alleged that the present accused (Kanda) is the main accused. The accused is named by deceased in her suicide note. Even otherwise, circumstantial evidence also are pointing towards the accused," the court said.
"The police custody of the accused is required for sustained interrogation and to recover his laptop, mobile phone and SIM card at his instance from Gurgaon, Sirsa and other known hideouts," the court said.
The investigators had sought his remand for 14 days but the court allowed only a week's police remand.
In their application, the police said Kanda's custodial interrogation was needed to confront him with co-accused Aruna Chaddha and documents recovered till now.
Police said Kanda's questioning was required to unearth the chain of the circumstance under which Geetika committed suicide.
Kanda was arrested after he surrendered at a police station here early morning. His counsel Ramesh Gupta opposed the remand application of police.
Kanda was on the run since Aug 8 after Sharma, 23, accused him and another official of his now-defunct MDLR Airlines, Aruna Chaddha, of harassing her and forcing her to commit suicide. She died on the night of Aug 4-5 at her house in north Delhi's Ashok Vihar. Chaddha is in judicial custody.
The court dismissed Kanda application seeking his medical examination every 12 hours.
Kanda in his application said that he had "genuine apprehension that the police may torture him to extract a false confession".
Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan, while seeking 14 days police remand of Kanda, said he was the only source through whom the case-related documents and evidence could be collected.
Gupta, appearing for Kanda, said that granting police custody of his client would not serve any purpose.
He said that investigators had already searched his house and office so there was no need for his police custody.
The former Haryana minister owned the MDLR Airlines where Sharma worked as a flight attendant. After the airlines ceased to function in 2009, Sharma was given a job in another company owned by him.
The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed Kanda's anticipatory bail plea, observing that despite being a "free man", he himself did not file the application and it was a "sufficient" ground for its rejection.
Kanda, who was forced to resign as minister of state for home and urban local bodies in Haryana in the face of public outcry over Geetika's suicide, was booked for abetment to suicide by Delhi Police.