Sunanda Pushkar death: Hotel wants Rs 61,000/night room opened, cops say not yet
Despite two visits by forensic experts and five reports from different medical reports, police say they still do not know how Sunanda Pushkar died. Suite number 345 in Hotel Leela Palace, where Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda was found dead, has been closed since 2014.delhi Updated: Jul 15, 2017 12:50 IST
The Delhi police on Friday told a city court that they could not de-seal the room at a five star hotel, where former Congress minister Shashi Throor’ wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead. More than three years after the incident, police have not been able to reach a conclusion and said they will take more time to investigate.
Replying to a court order, police said that despite two visits by Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) experts and five different reports from medical boards, they are yet to find out how she was murdered. The police said they will need more time to inspect the room, thereby delaying the case.
The room has been sealed by Delhi police since January 2014.
The police had come under heavy criticism for its handling of the case. A murder case was registered more than a year after she was found dead in suite 345 of the Hotel Leela Palace in New Delhi.
In a plea, the hotel had earlier told court that closing the room for the last three years had caused them losses. Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma on Friday directed the Station House Officer (SHO) of Sarojini Nagar police station to file a report by coordinating with the forensic team on the time and the number of visits they would need to inspect the room one last time before concluding their investigation.
The court has fixed the next date of hearing on July 14, 2017.
The hotel said in its plea that it has on previous occasions approached the Delhi Police for their assistance in unsealing the suite. “The investigating agencies have visited the suite and collected requisite samples on numerous occasions. But, since a year, no investigating agency has visited the suite and therefore the it is not required to be kept sealed any longer,” the hotel had said in its application.
According to the hotel’s plea, there are 17 suites in the hotel and the cost for a night’s stay ranges from Rs 55,000 - 61,000, depending on the season. But, the hotel’s inability to offer suite number 345 to its patrons in the last three years has reportedly resulted in a loss of approximately Rs 50 lakh.
Pushkar was found dead at the five-star hotel in south Delhi’s Chanakyapuri on January 17, 2014, after which the suite was sealed. Pushkar’s viscera samples were sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lab in Washington DC to determine the type of poison that killed her after an AIIMS medical board identified poisoning as the reason behind her death. The board did not specify the type of poison and asked police to send the samples to a lab outside India.