High Court refuses to entertain PIL on Sunanda Pushkar’s death case

Delhi High Court today rejected a PIL seeking its intervention in the ongoing probe…

Sunanda Pushkar, Sunanda Pushkar death case, Shashi Tharoor, Delhi High COurt, Public Interest Litigation

Delhi High Court today rejected a PIL seeking its intervention in the ongoing probe into the death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, saying it was more of a “publicity interest litigation.”

“FIR has been registered and the investigation is also being carried out by the senior-most officers of the Delhi Police. We are sorry, we cannot entertain the petition. This is not a Public Interest Litigation (PIL),” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The bench further said that the petition seemed to be a “publicity interest litigation.”

The court’s observation came after additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain opposed the PIL which alleged that the probe agency was biased and hence no constructive progress has been made in the matter. In such a situation, there was reason for the court to intervene, it claimed.

ASG said the petitioner has no locus standi in the matter and the police was investigating the case on day to day basis.

He further said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted including five senior most officers of the Delhi Police who were probing the matter.

ASG also said that an FIR has been registered and the petitioner by this kind of prayer was only trying to delay the probe.

Earlier on January 28, the High Court had declined the request of petitioner NGO Anti-Corruption Front to give an urgent hearing to the matter.

The PIL, filed against Home Ministry, CBI and Delhi Police, alleged that an FIR had been lodged by the police almost a year after the incident, despite clear guidelines by Supreme Court and high courts that on receiving information on a cognisable offence, an FIR should be registered without delay.

The SIT was set up by the Delhi Police to probe Pushkar’s death after it registered the FIR on January 1, based on Pushkar’s third autopsy report by the AIIMS medical board.

The police had questioned Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat and Union Minister in connection with the case on December 19.

Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel here on January 17, 2014. The police filed an FIR on January 1, 2015, relying on the report of AIIMS medical board saying she was poisoned to death.

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First published on: 11-02-2015 at 16:56 IST