Sunanda Pushkar case: Hearing adjourned till December 20

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a suite of a Delhi hotel on the night of January 17, 2014.

New Delhi: Delhi's Patiala House Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing in the Sunanda Pushkar death case till December 20 for further compliance under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which pertains to providing the accused with a copy of police report and other documents.

Furthermore, an order on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy's plea to assist the court in the trial will be pronounced on Thursday.

On December 10, the Delhi court deferred the order on two applications of Swamy seeking direction to the Delhi Police to produce a report of a vigilance inquiry conducted after Sunanda Pushkar's death and also to assist the prosecution in the case.

The court's order came after Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's counsel Vikas Pahwa and the public prosecutor opposed Swamy's application.

Tharoor's counsel had filed the application under Section 207 of Criminal Procedure Code 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 comprising 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 on December 6, 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.

Pahwa had 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 judgments of the apex court and Delhi High Court in support of the 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 had 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 inquiry 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 the 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".

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