After almost 3 years, Sunanda Pushkar’s death is back in news. While the authorities of Hotel Leela Palace, Delhi, where Pushkar’s dead body was discovered in January 2014, wants the suite to be de-sealed, Delhi Police says they still need the room for investigation. On the other hand, citing a substantial delay in investigation, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has filed a plea in the Delhi High Court demanding a probe by a Special Investigation Team led by CBI into the death of Pushkar.
The mystery surrounding the death of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, has fed the rumour mills for about three years now. Here are the latest developments in the case:
De-sealing of the hotel suite
On January 17, 2014, Pushkar’s body was found in Hotel Leela Palace’s luxury suite 345. Soon after which, the room was sealed as it was under investigation. After almost 3 years, the luxury hotel has filed a plea claiming that due to the sealing of the suite, which costs between Rs 55,000 and Rs 61,000 a night, it has suffered a loss of over Rs 50 lakh.
It has claimed that a number of times, police and forensic teams had visited the suite and it was no longer required to be kept sealed.
“No prejudice will be caused to police if the suit is de-sealed as the same has been examined multiple times, and after three years, nothing new could be recorded,” stated the plea by the hotel.
Soon after their plea, a Delhi court on July 21 ordered de-sealing of the suite.
The court, however, said that the probe agency would be at liberty to visit the suite before filing of the compliance report in the court regarding de-sealing of the suite.
The police was also allowed to take out the articles lying inside the suite with due care for the purpose of investigation.
The court noted that no offence was found on part of the hotel and that no police official visited the suite for last more than one year.
Subramanian Swamy’s plea for a special investigation
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in July moved the Delhi High Court seeking a court-monitored probe by a multi-disciplinary Special Investigation Team led by CBI into the death of Pushkar.
Swamy had told the court that there has been constant attempt to block the investigation into the death of Pushkar. He alleged that the registration of an FIR took almost a year and nothing has happened after that.
Even after three years, police had not arrested anyone and no custodial interrogation took place, Swamy had said, adding that the post-mortem report confirmed her death was “unnatural” and “due to poison”.
Swamy sought a time-bound probe in the case, saying “very influential people are involved in the case, leading to attempts to protect them, and the matter has faced a lot of unnecessary delays already”.
Tharoor’s stepson opposes Swamy’s plea
Shashi Tharoor’s stepson Shiv Menon moved the Delhi High Court opposing Swamy’s plea for a court-monitored CBI-led SIT probe into the death of Pushkar.
Menon is seeking to intervene on the ground that the BJP leader has no locusstandi in the issue of his mother’s death.
Pushkar’s son urged the court to restrain Swamy and his lawyers from posting on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, the information about the instant case and its proceedings.
The application also seeks directions to Swamy and his lawyers not to share information about the investigation in the case with the media and the general public at large.
Hearing his plea on July 24, the bench queried Menon how he was affected by Swamy’s plea.
“We are asking you a simple question. How are you affected by this prayer? The (Swamy’s) prayer is for a proper inquiry into the death of this person.
“In any criminal matter if chargesheet has not been filed for three and half years, it’s a matter of concern… You, being the son, should say why no chargesheet has not been filed…. We thought the son will be extremely keen to know as to who is the person (responsible for Sunanda’s death),” it said.
The court, however, declined to pass any order on Menon’s plea saying he has to be first made a party in Swamy’s petition before his prayer could be heard.
“We have not even issued a notice in the (Swamy’s) petition. We have not taken cognizance. We have not given the seal of approval to his (Swamy) petition. We may dismiss it,” the bench remarked.
A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Chander Shekhar also issued a notice to Delhi Police and sought their stand by August 1 on Menon’s plea which also said that the investigating agency should be directed not to supply Swamy the copy of the status report with regard to the ongoing probe into Pushkar’s death.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Feature image source: PTI)