Tharoor, police oppose Swamy’s application in Sunanda Pushkar’s death case
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s counsel Vikas Pahwa and public prosecutor on Thursday opposed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy’s application seeking direction to the Delhi Police to produce vigilance inquiry report conducted after Sunanda Pushkar’s death and to allow him to assist the prosecution in the case.
After concluding the arguments in the matter, the Patiala House Court has reserved its order on Swamy’s application on December 10.
Tharoor’s counsel has filed the application under Section 207 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) seeking direction for reconciling of the data stored in three hard disks submitted by the Delhi Police in the court. The hard disks, which have more than 900 GB of data, were filed in the court in the form of Folder F.
Folder F comprises numerous CDs, pen drives, hard disks, memory sticks etc. The data stored in these three hard disks was prepared in July 2018.
During the court proceedings, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) allowed the application and directed the investigating officer to sit with the counsels and start the process of reconciliation from today itself.
Tharoor’s counsel Pahwa challenged the locus standi of Swamy saying that he is a stranger to the proceedings and cannot be permitted to participate in the criminal trial in any manner. He also cited numerous judgements of the apex court and Delhi High Court in support of this argument. The Special Public Prosecutor also vehemently objected to the application saying that the Delhi Police does not want any assistance from Swamy.
However, Swamy argued that the charge sheet against Tharoor in Pushkar’s death is incomplete and against the interest of justice.
After the prolonged hearing, Swamy said that he will not press his prayer for assisting the prosecution but insisted that his plea seeking the vigilance enquiry report should be allowed so that the same can be considered by the court during the framing of charges.
This plea was also opposed by Tharoor’s advocate on the ground that this prayer amounts to directing further investigation under Section 173(8) of CrPC, which is not permissible in law particularly when the court has already taken cognisance in the case.
Sunanda Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a suite of a Delhi hotel on the night of January 17, 2014. The couple was staying in the hotel as their house was undergoing renovation.
Tharoor was summoned by the court in June this year, observing there was sufficient ground to proceed against him.
The Congress leader was charged under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He, however, dismissed the charge sheet terming it “preposterous”.