Sunanda Pushkar death probe: Delhi court orders de-sealing of hotel room

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Sunanda Pushkar

The court told the Delhi police that the room cannot be locked forever in name of investigation

In a setback for the Delhi police, a Delhi court on Friday ordered the de-sealing of suite number 345 of Hotel Leela Palace, the room where Sunanda Pushkar was found dead.

A bench observed that the room could not be locked forever in the name of investigation. “The hotel cannot be put to unending hardship and loss due to the lethargy of the investigation team,” the judges observed.

The order comes after Hotel Leela palace had moved to court urging to de-seal the suite which has been locked from January 17, 2014

The counsel for the hotel had said that due to lockage of the room termites and bugs have been affected the other rooms as well.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had directed the Delhi police to file a status report within three days regarding the death of Pushkar. This directive came after a plea was filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking a court-monitored probe either by a Special Investigation Team or CBI.

A bench comprising Justice GS Sistani and Justice Chandrashekhar fixed the next date of hearing on August 1.

The Delhi police had brought its status report to the court on Thursday but their counsel Rahul Mehra said that the report would be submitted to the court only after he had gone through it. Mehra also informed the court that the investigation was close to completion.

“We are working on the investigation. We may not have been able to satisfy Subramanian Swamy but we are close to completing the investigation. There are a lot of things we have to put on record,” he said. Mehra added that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has already been formed in this matter.

The court said that it will take a look at what the police has to say before taking any decision.

Earlier, Swamy had filed a petition in the HC on July 6, stating that “inordinate delays” have been caused in the case of Pushkar’s death, “which are a blot on the justice system.” The petition further said that this case “is an extreme example of the slow-motion of criminal justice process and the extent to which it can be subverted by the rich and the influential.”

Swamy also alleged that Shashi Tharoor used his “influential position” to divert the course of investigation.

The petition also questioned the role of the police officers investigating the case, stating that no arrests have been made and a chargesheet has also not been filed till date, even after three years of the incident.

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