In a highly anticipated verdict, a Delhi court on Tuesday acquitted former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the high-profile case of abetment of suicide by Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess employed in his aviation company. The court’s decision came as it found insufficient evidence to establish that Kanda had directly or indirectly instigated Geetika Sharma to end her life.
Throughout the trial, the prosecution had alleged that Kanda had a romantic interest in Sharma, which was apparent from the special treatment he bestowed upon her in the workplace. Prosecutors argued that the promotions she received and the lavish gifts she was given were indicative of Kanda’s attraction towards her, creating a hostile environment and pushing her towards suicide.
However, Special Judge Vikas Dhull, who presided over the case, ruled in favor of Kanda, stating that the prosecution failed to provide conclusive evidence to substantiate their claims. The court held that despite the undeniable attraction Kanda had towards Sharma, there was insufficient proof to suggest that he was involved in a criminal conspiracy that led to her suicide.
The case had drawn widespread media attention and public scrutiny due to Kanda’s influential political position and the gravity of the charges against him. Geetika Sharma’s tragic death in 2012 had sparked outrage, leading to demands for justice and accountability from various quarters.
The court’s verdict has stirred mixed reactions, with some expressing disappointment at the perceived lack of justice for Sharma and her family. Critics argue that the acquittal might set a precedent that could discourage future victims of harassment from seeking justice. They point to the significance of addressing the issue of workplace harassment and abuse of power to ensure a safer and more equitable society for all.
Kanda, who had always maintained his innocence, expressed relief and gratitude after the verdict. His defense team had consistently argued that the case against him was politically motivated and lacked substantial evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They presented witnesses and testimonies to support their claim that Kanda’s relationship with Sharma was consensual and not manipulative.
On the other hand, Geetika Sharma’s family and their legal representatives have expressed deep disappointment with the verdict. They firmly believed that Kanda and co-accused Aruna Chadha played pivotal roles in pushing Geetika to the brink, ultimately leading to her untimely death. The family’s lawyer has stated that they would explore legal options to appeal the court’s decision.
It is essential to remember that the justice system’s decision is final, and the court’s ruling must be respected. However, this case should also serve as a reminder to continuously work towards building a more empathetic and safer environment, where individuals can freely speak out against harassment and manipulation without fear of reprisals. Implementing robust workplace policies and ensuring strict adherence to the law is crucial in preventing similar tragic incidents in the future.
As this high-profile case comes to a close, it is evident that the scars left by Geetika Sharma’s death will continue to linger in the memories of her loved ones and those who followed the trial. The quest for justice and the truth surrounding her untimely demise will persist, urging society to reflect on the importance of safeguarding vulnerable individuals from abuse of power and manipulation in all spheres of life. Only through collective efforts can we strive for a more just and equitable society for everyone.