Sunanda Pushkar murder case: Forensic team to visit hotel room to collect further evidence

New Delhi: A forensic team would visit the suite in a five-star hotel where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in 2014, to collect further evidence, a Delhi court was informed on Saturday.

The information about the proposed visit by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) team was disclosed to the court by the hotel management which has sought its de-sealing of the suite here as Pushkar had died under mysterious circumstances.

File image of Sunanda Pushkar. PTI

File image of Sunanda Pushkar. PTI

Metropolitan magistrate Dharmender Singh also pulled up Delhi Police for delaying the de-sealing of the suite while referring to an order passed on 21 July by his predecessor asking it to de-seal the occupied premises within four weeks.

The advocate, appearing for the hotel, said it had received a letter on Friday from the police saying that the CFSL team would visit again the suite on 1 September. "Why did you take two months to inform the hotel that you will need more time," the court asked the police. The court, however, allowed police plea seeking one more opportunity for filing of the compliance report in the court regarding de-sealing of the suite.

It directed the agency to file the report on 4 September. The court had on 21 July ordered de-sealing of the suite within four weeks, saying the hotel could not be put to unending hardship due to laxity on part of the police.

The court had, however, said 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 no police official had visited the suite for over a year. The police had said in its earlier status report that it was not able to reach a definitive conclusion so far regarding cause of Pushkar's death.

The hotel had submitted before the court that locking of the suite was creating sanitary and cleanliness issues for it. The hotel had claimed that due to the sealing of the suite, which costs between Rs 55,000 and Rs 61,000 a night, it had suffered a loss of over Rs 50 lakh in the last three years.

It claimed that a number of times, police and forensic teams had visited the suite and it was no longer required to be kept sealed. "The hotel continues to suffer loss with each passing day. The continuous sealing of the suite is also affecting the use of other rooms/suites on the same floor," it had said.

Pushkar was found dead in the suite of the south Delhi hotel on the night of 17 January, 2014. The suite was sealed on that night itself for investigation. An FIR was registered by Delhi Police on 1 January, 2015 against unknown persons under IPC section 302 (murder).

Updated Date: Aug 19, 2017 17:37 PM

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