A Delhi court today asked police to probe as to why former Haryana Minister Gopal Goyal Kanda and his brother Gobind had to be declared proclaimed offenders in a 14-year-old cheque bounce case.
Metropolitan Magistrate Vikrant Vaid ordered the probe despite the fact that the two brothers were recently acquitted in the case.
While ordering the probe, the court said getting declared proclaimed offenders for evading court summons and warrants and cheque bounce case were two different offences and one's acquittal in one case does not absolve one of the second offence.
The court told this to the station house officer of the Connaught Place police station, who had appeared before the court to seek clarification on whether further proceedings could be initiated against the duo who have already been acquitted in the cheque bounce case.
"The offence under section 174 A (proclaimed offender) of the Indian Penal Code and section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act (cheque bounce case) are two distinct offences.
"The acquittal of the accused in the compoundable offence under section 138 of NI act does not bar investigation into the offence under section 174 A IPC," MM Vaid said, while directing the police to go ahead with the investigation and submit their report by September 10.
The court earlier had asked police to file their report on as to what actions were taken against Kanda brothers for avoiding court summons and warrants by August 27.
Gopal, the key accused in the suicide of his now-defunct MDLR Airlines employee Geetika, and his brother Gobind Goyal had been facing summons and warrants issued by a Delhi court ever since 1998 in the cheque bounce case, which related to dishonour of a Rs 4.10 cheque issued by them. But the two had failed to appear before it.
Finally in May this year, the court had declared both as proclaimed offenders for not responding to its summons and avoiding its warrants.
On August 18, Gobind was arrested for helping Gopal evade the police in the suicide case.
On the same day, Metropolitan Magistrate Vikrant Vaid, while granting bail to Gobind in the cheque bounce case, had also asked police to file a report on the steps taken against Kanda brothers for ignoring the court's order of appearing before it despite various summons. The case of cheque bounce was settled between the two parties on August 27 after the brothers paid the amount of Rs 4.10 lakh to the complainant.
If Kanda brothers are convicted under section 174 A of the IPC, they could get a maximum punishment of three years.