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HC quashes fresh charges against Chadha in air hostess suicide case

The Delhi high court on Thursday quashed fresh charges relating to abetment of rape and unnatural offence invoked against Aruna Chadha, an employee of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, in the suicide case of air hostess Geetika Sharma.

A bench of justice G P Mittal also allowed the plea of Delhi police seeking to expunge the adverse remarks made against the probe agency and the public prosecutor for not probing the sexual exploitation angle in the case. The lower court had ordered framing of additional charges against Chadha under section 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offence) read with section 109 (Abetment) of the IPC.

The court, on 16 July, had reserved its order after hearing arguments on behalf of Delhi police and Chadha in the case. Police had moved the high court objecting to the trial court's remark against the probe. The trial court had made the remarks against the agency in its 10 May order on framing of charges. Additional solicitor general Siddharth Luthra, appearing for police, had sought the adverse observations be expunged, saying they were made without any notice to investigators. He had said further investigation into the sexual exploitation aspect has not been stopped. Chadha had moved the high court challenging the fresh charge of abetment of rape and unnatural offence slapped against her by the trial court on 10 May.

Chadha and Kanda have been charged for various offences including rape, unnatural offence, abetment of rape, unnatural offence and suicide, criminal conspiracy, forgery under the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for hacking computers and sending offensive or false messages.

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