New Delhi: The anticipatory bail plea of absconding ex-Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda was on Friday dismissed by the Delhi High Court which said despite being a "free man" he himself did not file and it was a "sufficient" ground for its rejection.

The court also came down heavily on Delhi Police for not pressing its plea before the magisterial court to search his premises in Haryana.

Without going into the legal and factual contentions raised by Kanda's lawyer in the day-long hearing, Justice PK Bhasin said, "In my view, this anticipatory bail application is liable to be rejected, without going into the merits at all, only on the ground that the same has not been filed by the person apprehending his arrest."

The court, in its 13-page order, also said, "The police file also shows that an application had been moved in the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate... seeking permission to search his house on 8th August, 2012 but that application was not pressed when it was taken up for consideration ... and the same was got dismissed as withdrawn. Thereafter, no fresh application appears to have been moved in that regard.

"Because of all these actions of police the concerned accused appears to be sitting comfortably somewhere without any apprehension of his arrest ...and that circumstance also appears to be the reason for his not claiming anticipatory bail himself."

It also referred to various case laws to stress the legal proposition that an accused, who is free, should file the anticipatory bail plea on his own.

Justice Bhasin said, "considering the fact that Gopal Goyal Kanda is a free man, at least at the present point of time, he alone could have moved the anticipatory bail application supported by his own affidavit and in the absence of his having done that this application cannot be considered by this Court to have actually been filed by him."

Referring to various procedural lacunae in Kanda's plea, the court said the application, which was being filed on the instructions of his brother Govind Kumar, no where said as to why the accused himself did not file it.

"In the entire application not even a word has been said as to why Kanda himself had not sworn an affidavit in support of this application if at all he had filed the same," it said.

Another lapse, raising the suspicion about the genuinity of the plea, was that the 'vakalatnama', executed by Kanda on August 13, has been identified by lawyer Ravinder Singh six days before it was signed by the accused, it said.

"I also find one vakalatnama on record which purports to have been signed by Gopal Goyal Kanda in favour of some advocates. This 'vakalatnama' is shown to have been executed by Gopal Goyal Kanda on 13th August, 2012. However, one of the advocates, whose name appears to be Ravinder Singh, has put his signatures for identifying the executant of the 'vakalatnama' but that advocate had put his signatures on 8th August, 2012.

"That creates a suspicion in the mind of the Court regarding the genuineness of this vakalatnama also...," it said.

The court also said that if Kanda himself had signed the 'vakalatnama' then there was no justification of his brother filing the bail plea on his behalf that too without any authorisation.

"This application (of police) appears to have been filed only to bring it on record from the side of the police that the accused himself has gone underground and the police is unable to arrest him so that investigation gets delayed," it said.

Kanda, against whom an NBW has been issued recently by a lower court, is wanted for allegedly abetting suicide of his employee Geetika, 23, who hanged self at her Ashok Vihar residence here on the night of August 5. Co-accused Aruna Chadha is presently in judicial custody in the case.

The Haryana politician had recruited the victim as an air hostess in 2006 in the now defunct MDLR company and within a short span of time, made her a Director in another group firm which is into hotel business.

(Agencies)

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