Pushkar death: Court rejects police plea, orders desealing of hotel room

Pushkar death: Court rejects police plea, orders desealing of hotel room

A court here on Tuesday rejected a Delhi Police plea to seek extension in time to deseal a room in Hotel Leela Palace where former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in January 2014.

Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh directed the police to deseal Room number 345 that has remained locked since January 17, 2014, and file a compliance report by September 26, the next date of hearing.

Police had sought more time to keep the room locked on the ground that the report of a forensic science laboratory on samples collected from the spot was awaited.

“… seeking extensions of time is not justified and no further time can be given for desealing the suite (room). However, investigating agency or the FSL team is at liberty to access the suite and collect whatever material or articles lying therein and is required for investigation,” the court said.

The court pointed out that the room was lying locked for over three years and thus caused huge financial loss to Hotel Leela.

At the last hearing, the police said they had sent some more items collected from the room to a Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) and sought more time to keep the room sealed for collecting more evidence.

On July 21, the court ordered its desealing, saying the hotel cannot be made to suffer continuously merely because the investigating team cannot ascertain the cause of Pushkar’s death.

The hotel’s management had told the court that as the room was lying locked for long, termites, bugs and other pests had spoiled it and even adjoining areas.

It said investigators would be allowed to take whatever they wanted as evidence from the room, pointing out that no investigating agency official had visited it for the past one year.

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