The nine-page status report submitted by Delhi Police lays bare a stark fact that its first probe team had messed up and destroyed much of the evidence in the Sunanda murder. The status report submitted to Delhi High Court shows that within three days of the murder – January 20, 2014 – the AIIMS’s post-mortem report categorically declared that Sunanda was murdered by poisoning despite circumstantial evidence showing that poisoning may have been due to an overdose of Alprax tablets.
Many times in the past, the Supreme Court has given judgments that there was no need to identify the exact nature of poison in murder cases.
“On 20.1.2014, the First PM report was received; cause of death was opined as “poisoning”, the circumstantial evidence is suggestive of Alprazolam poisoning. A total of 15 injuries including teeth bites and injection prick marks were found. The injuries were opined to be caused by blunt force and simple in nature not contributing to death. Final opinion was reserved pending receipt of viscera analysis report,” said the Delhi Police citing the AIIMS Post Mortem report by Dr. Sudhir Gupta and Team.
The AIIMS post-mortem findings were sent on January 20, 2014 – three days after the murder – and Delhi Police did not register a First Information Report (FIR) based on this. The status report shows that the police team headed by the then Joint Commissioner Vivek Gogia was involved in all kinds of dubious activities to save the then Minister and husband Shashi Tharoor.
Many times in the past, the Supreme Court has given judgments that there was no need to identify the exact nature of poison in murder cases. But to save Tharoor, Delhi Police delayed the probe by researching to know the exact nature of the poison. Even after many AIIMS reports, the samples were sent even to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The samples sent to FBI were very less in quantity and this resulted in a delay in getting back the results. A FIR was registered after a year – January 2015 – due to the revelations of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
Delhi High Court on Monday (July 24) did not appreciate the arguments of Sunanda’s son Shiv Menon who questioned Swamy’s locus standi.
Many pieces of crucial evidence were not supplied to AIIMS. The bed sheets and pillow cover were given to AIIMS only in October 2014. Swamy pointed out during his argument that mobile phones of Sunanda were not seized by Delhi Police and a senior officer had returned them back to the husband Tharoor on the very next day of the murder. Crucial Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) visuals of the hotel including of the visuals from the main porch of Hotel Leela were never seized by the first probe team led by Joint Commissioner Vivek Gogia.
Delhi High Court on Monday (July 24) did not appreciate the arguments of Sunanda’s son Shiv Menon who questioned Swamy’s locus standi. He even argued that Swamy and co-petitioner Advocate Ishkaran Bhandari should be gagged from talking to media and even from tweeting. Justice G S Sistani and Justice Chander Shekar rejected all his demands and even wondered about his demands to stop the circulation of status report. The High Court is considering taking a look at the status report on August 1.
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