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Delhi HC questions delay in probing Sunanda Pushkar's death, asks police to expedite investigation

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday questioned the Delhi Police over the delay in investigation of the death of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, PTI reported.

While hearing BJP MP Subramanian Swamy's plea seeking a CBI investigation into the 2014 case, the bench comprising Justice GS Sistani and Justice Chander Shekhar also questioned the police over the delay in submitting the final report on the evidence collected so far.

The bench said the police had collected evidence in the matter in February 2015 but has not yet got the final result of the electronic evidences they have seized in the matter including that of the close friends of Tharoor and Pushkar.

"This (collecting of evidence)is something that happened in February 2015. Why it took two years for the police to get the final result. Here is somebody who passed away back in 2014 and you (police) initially said it was a suicide but later it turned out to be a homicide," the bench said.

Delhi Police was asked searching questions by the court today. They were on the mat, ANI quoted Subramanian Swamy as saying.

During the arguments, the counsel representing Pushkar's son Shiv Menon also moved an application seeking faster investigation to conclude the case.

Slamming Swamy over his plea demanding a CBI investigation, Menon's counsel said that the BJP MP had filed a "Publicity Interest Litigation" and not a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

However, Swamy, in response to this said, "I don't need any publicity, I am a politician and an MP so I don't need publicity," ANI reported.

Swamy had on Monday filed a fresh application in the court seeking a copy of the charge sheet of the case within 45 days.

File image of Sunanda Pushkar. PTI

File image of Sunanda Pushkar. PTI

Menon's plea to be considered a party in the case was also heard by the court on Monday. Hearing his plea, Justice GS Sistani and Justice Chander Shekhar, had expressed concern over failure of the police to file a charge sheet in the case even after three-and-a-half years. The court had also sought Swamy's response on Menon's plea to implead him as a party in the proceedings before the high court.

Menon had also questioned Swamy's locus standi in seeking such a investigation, alleging that he was doing it only for publicity.

On 6 July, Swamy had moved the Delhi High Court seeking a court-monitored investigation by a CBI-led Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the death of Pushkar, alleging that the "inordinate delay" in the investigation "is a blot on the justice system".

Swamy had sought a court-monitored investigation by setting up of a multi-disciplinary SIT consisting of Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, RAW, Delhi Police and headed by the CBI in the case.

"The case referred to in this petition is an extreme example of the slow motion of the criminal justice process and the extent to which it can be subverted by the rich and influential," the plea filed through advocate Ishkaran Singh Bhandari had said.

Pushkar's death once again came under media spotlight after a private TV channel had released a series of 11 audio tapes alleging that Tharoor and his assistant Narayan were deliberately stopping Pushkar from talking to the media just before her death.

The high profile death under unexplained circumstances has been in the news as it had come in the backdrop of a Twitter controversy that broke out few days before Pushkar's death, where she had publicly blamed a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar for stalking her husband.

Pushkar, a well known socialite and entrepreneur was found dead on 17 January 2014, under unexplained circumstances in a Delhi hotel room. Pushkar's autopsy report at that time had hinted that she had died of an overdose of sleeping pills. However, the report was inconclusive as to whether the death was a suicide or a murder.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 01, 2017 15:22 PM

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