Sunanda probe: Court raps police for lapses

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Sunanda probe: Court raps police for lapses

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 | Staff Reporter | NEW DELHI

Delhi Sessions Court on Monday came down heavily on the Delhi Police for committing serious lapses during the investigation of the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar.  Sessions Judge Arun Bhardwaj summoned chief  investigating officer on May 24 to explain on the serious lapses like why the mobile phone and laptop of the deceased were handed over to accused husband Shashi Tharoor on the very next day of her death  under highly questionable circumstances.

The Judge also asked the Investigating Officer (IO) VKPS Yadav to be present in the Court to explain the reason for the missing of the certain CCTV visuals of the Hotel Leela, where Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor was  found dead on January 17, 2014.

The Judge was responding to the petition filed by BJP leader Subamanian Swamy for production of Delhi Police’s Vigilance Report detailing the illegalities and sabotages in the probe happened during the first probe team headed by then Joint Commissioner Vivek Gogia. In his petition under CrPC 301, Swamy said that the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police only accuses Tharoor for domestic violence and forcing wife to suicide.

He pointed out that Delhi Police had completely ignored the postmortem report of AIIMS exposing 12 injury marks on her body and poison present in her body.

Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava told Court, he intends to take assistance of senior advocates. This was objected by Tharoor’s lawyer Vikas Pahwas and the Prosecutor countered that he is well within his right to seek assistance during trial.

The IO, VKPS Yadav, told court that he needed some time to reply to the Court’s questions on the missing CCTV visuals and return of mobile phones.  Hearing this, Judge said the Chief Investigator Maneeshi Chandra should come to Court on May 24 at 3:30 pm to explain these lacunas. 

It may be recalled that Dr Swamy had earlier told the bench that he was not a stranger to the case as he had filed the PIL in the Supreme Court in the matter after which things started moving. He had said that his PIL was in larger interest of justice.

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014. The couple were staying in the hotel as the official bungalow of Tharoor was being renovated at that time.

The former Union Minister has been charged under sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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