For the second time in two days, Delhi Police failed in their efforts to get custody of Aruna Chaddha, a suspect in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.
Much to the embarrassment of the police, a court in New Delhi on Tuesday said that the “facts, circumstances, and material brought on record did not warrant grant of police custody remand”.
On Monday too, another court had rejected the remand plea citing that it was not satisfied with the application that the police had moved.
“The Investigating Officer has failed to disclose any fresh and cogent reason for grant of further police custody remand of accused Aruna Chaddha,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D. K. Jangala said.
Mr. Jangala also asked Delhi Police how Geetika’s post-mortem report was leaked to the media. The court directed the Joint Commissioner of Police (Northern range) to inquire into this and submit a report in a week.
“It has come to the notice of this court that the findings of the post-mortem report of deceased Geetika Sharma, which was very personal in nature, has been published by the media despite stated to be in a sealed cover by the Investigating Officer. Such type of publication interferes in administration of justice. Therefore, I direct the Joint Commissioner of Police [Northern range] to ensure that in future any such type of report does not leak to anyone,” the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate said.
Additional Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan commenced his arguments seeking two days police custody by stating that Ms. Chaddha had lied in her disclosure statement to the police regarding her joining date at MDLR Airlines.
“While Ms. Chaddha claimed she joined the company a month before Geetika in 2006, papers that we have recovered show that she was appointed in August 2004 with a salary of Rs.50,000, ” Mr. Mohan said.
In his order, Mr. Jangala appeared to reject this submission ruling that “no contradictory facts between Ms. Chaddha’s disclosure statement and new facts discovered had been brought to its knowledge”.
Mr. Mohan also alleged that Ms. Chaddha had drafted the e-mail sent to Geetika from email@example.com, threatening her with extradition from United Arab Emirates.
“Ms. Chaddha drafted the e-mail. She forwarded this to another employee, Shivroop, who sent the e-mail to Geetika from the fake e-mail address he had created,” he said.
The prosecutor said documents recovered from the MDLR office following Mr. Kanda’s arrest showed that a company, Aroma Foods, was opened in Ms. Chaddha and her father’s name, and was later renamed AKG, referring to Ms. Chaddha, Geetika and another employee named Khushboo.
However, Ms. Chaddha’s counsel said none of the prosecution’s arguments warranted sending her to police custody remand, which she was already subjected to for several days.
“The entire case is based on a suicide note. I can attribute the reference to Ms. Chaddha in it as a case of professional rivalry,” defence counsel said. Her lawyer also pleaded with the court to verify the case file to see if the documents that the prosecution claimed was recovered during raids were duly recorded in seizure memos.
In response, Mr. Mohan made another forceful plea for police custody remand stating that this was a case based on circumstantial evidence and that the entire chain of events would have to be unearthed to enable the police to file the charge sheet.