Sunanda Murder: High Court slams Delhi Police. Asks detailed Status Report by August 30

Delhi Police asked to submit detailed Status Report, explaining the reasons for every delay

Delhi Police asked to explain the reasons for every delay in their Status Report
Delhi Police asked to explain the reasons for every delay in their Status Report

Expressing total displeasure at the much delayed Sunanda murder probe, High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi Police to come up with a detailed Status Report. Observing several anomalies in the current Status Report, Delhi High Court Bench headed by Justice G S Sistani asked several inconvenient questions on the lacunae and anomalies in the Sunanda murder probe. The Court also observed with displeasure the frivolous petition filed by Sunanda’s son Shiv Menon.

The bench of Justices G S Sistani and Chander Shekhar said the police had collected evidence in the matter in February 2015 but was yet to get the final result of the electronic evidence they seized in the case including that of the close friends of Tharoor and Pushkar.

The High Court will consider the detailed report of Delhi Police on August 30.

The Court witnessed sparring arguments between main petitioner BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and Shiv Menon’s lawyers. At one point Justice Sistani asked the lawyer if he was satisfied with Delhi probe and what was his actual plea? Sensing the mood of the Court, the lawyer said he too was not happy with the Delhi Police probe and wanted justice.

The bench of Justices G S Sistani and Chander Shekhar said the police had collected evidence in the matter in February 2015 but was yet to get the final result of the electronic evidence they seized in the case including that of the close friends of Tharoor and Pushkar.

“This collection of evidence is something that happened in February 2015. Why has the police not been able to get the final result even after two years,” the bench asked. The court said it has to look into the aspect of a delay.

Throughout their arguments, Swamy and co-petitioner Advocate Ishkaran Bhandari stressed on the wrong doing by Delhi Police in evidence collection and rationale behind the non-action even after AIIMS confirmation that death was by poisoning. Instead of taking action, the police went ahead with research to find the nature of the poison, they said pointing out that the Apex Court had passed landmark judgments that there is no need to find the exact nature of poison in murder and other heinous crimes.

“We are also concerned as to who is the real culprit. Here is somebody who passed away back in 2014 and you (police) initially said it was a case of suicide, but later it turned out to be one of homicide,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Menon, has also questioned Swamy’s locus in seeking such a probe alleging that he was doing it only for publicity. Objecting to the locus issue of the petitioner raised by Menon’s counsel, Swamy said, “There is no lack when it comes to publicity and I am a national-level politician.”

He said he was only trying to stop the police from covering up the investigation in the case. Swamy alleged that Pushkar’s son is not at all interested in knowing the reason behind the death of his mother and is only interested in her property in Canada.

“He (Menon) was in jail in Dubai in connection with a narcotics case. Tharoor got him out,” Swamy claimed. The BJP leader said that he could show a letter which “proved” that Menon was “concerned” about his mother’s property.

The bench, however, was not convinced with the police’ submission with regard to the difference of opinion in the findings of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) and the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), both based here.

The court also expressed its displeasure over the contention in the status report that data from some of the mobile phones, seized during the investigation, have been deleted and the Indian forensic laboratories have been unable to retrieve the same.

Swamy has moved a fresh application seeking a copy of the charge sheet to be filed by the city police in the matter within 45 days. He has alleged that the police was misleading and delaying the case as it had withheld from the medical board constituted in the matter, certain crucial evidences from the crime scene.

Team PGurus

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