The Delhi Police Friday told a city court that they cannot “de-seal” the five-star hotel suite where former union minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead, as they are yet to reach a “definite conclusion” on her death. The court had ordered police to reply after the administration of the south Delhi hotel filed a plea in May to de-seal suite number 345. The suite was sealed on January 17, 2014, when Pushkar was found dead.
The administration had claimed that in the past three years, the hotel has been facing a “loss of Rs 50 lakh approx”. In a reply filed to the court, police said, “Even after two visits by experts of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) — and five opinions of medical boards consisting of doctors of AIIMS and one board constituted by DGHS — the investigation is yet to come to a definite conclusion regarding cause of death of the victim… Another meeting of the DGHS board is soon to be convened, wherein further requirement of examination of the scene of occurrence may arise.”
Police also told the court that another PIL calling for a multi-disciplinary SIT under the CBI is pending before the High Court. However, the counsel appearing for the hotel said as the suite has been locked for three years, “termites, bugs and insects have grown in the room”. “If the investigating agency wants to take all the material lying inside the suite for analysis, the hotel will allow it. Continuous lockage of the suite is not only spoiling the room, but the adjoining areas as well,” the counsel said.
The hotel, in its plea filed earlier, had said, “The investigating agency involved, including multiple forensic teams, have visited the suite and collected requisite samples on numerous occasions. But it is pertinent to note that since one year, no investigating agency has visited the suite. Therefore, the suite is not required to be kept sealed any longer.”
Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Mishra asked police to file a reply on July 21. Police had registered a case of murder a year after the forensic report on her viscera samples suggested poisoning.