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Delhi HC Rejects Subramanian Swamy's Plea on Sunanda Pushkar Death Probe, Calls PIL 'Political Interest Litigation'

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had sought a court-monitored probe by a CBI-led special investigation team into the death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014.

Updated:October 26, 2017, 2:29 PM IST
Delhi HC Rejects Subramanian Swamy's Plea on Sunanda Pushkar Death Probe, Calls PIL 'Political Interest Litigation'
File photo of BJP MP Subramaniam Swamy. (PTI)
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s plea for a court-monitored probe into the death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014.

Dismissing Swamy’s plea, the court said it was left with the “distinct impression” that this was perhaps a "textbook example of political interest litigation" being dressed up as PIL.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta said the petition by Swamy cannot be entertained as a PIL. The bench also said that from what was placed before the court, it was unable to be persuaded that the probe, being carried out by the SIT, is botched up or under the influence of any party.

According to the HC, Swamy appeared to have concealed data or information which he should have disclosed at the first instance.

"Although Subramanian Swamy claimed he has not concealed any data or information, when asked specifically about the basis of his allegations in the petition, his response was to seek time to file affidavit thereby clearly showing that what was to be disclosed at the first instance was not done," the court said.

“Courts need to be careful that judicial process is not used by political persons for their own purposes,” the Press Trust of India quoted the HC as saying. "This is not to say that political persons cannot file PILs, but courts have to be extra cautious when allegations are made against other political persons."

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre and the Delhi Police, said that they do not subscribe to the views expressed by Swamy that the Congress leader continues to interfere in the investigation.

Swamy had in July moved the Delhi High Court seeking a court-monitored probe by a CBI-led Special Investigation Team into the death of Sunanda Pushkar.

He had sought the setting up of a multi-disciplinary SIT consisting of Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, RAW, Delhi Police and headed by the CBI.

Swamy had alleged that "inordinate delay" was caused in the investigation "which is a blot on the justice system".

During the hearing, Swamy told the court that if probe agencies conclude that death was due to poison then it doesn't matter what type of poison it was. He urged the bench to monitor the SIT probe as police's decision to chase the poison is a "delaying tactic".

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five-star hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.

On August 30, the HC had pulled up the Delhi Police over the delay in the investigation, saying "we want to know what happened for three years".

Delhi Police had told the court that there was no delay in the probe and technical investigation was not in their hands, and some agencies, as well as AIIMS, were involved in the probe and hence it was taking some time.

(With PTI inputs)

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