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Delhi HC Grants Time To Prosecution To Reply To Shashi Tharoor's Plea Seeking Copies Of Sunanda Pushkar's Tweets

Karan Tripathi
15 July 2020 7:35 AM GMT
Delhi HC Grants Time To Prosecution To Reply To Shashi Tharoors Plea Seeking Copies Of Sunanda Pushkars Tweets
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted more time to the prosecution to file its reply on merits in a plea moved by Dr.Shashi Tharoor seeking copies of tweets posted by Sunanda Pushkar moments before her death.

The Single Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri has also asked both the parties to submit brief notes on authorities and legal arguments that they're relying upon.

Appearing for Tharoor, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa argued that no evidence or reports have been put on record to prove the actual cause of Sunanda Pushkar's death.

Pahwa further submitted that the investigation started in 2014, and till date, prosecution has not presented the actual cause of Sunanda Pushkar's death.

He also pointed out that, both the SIT report and the report of the New Board of Health Ministry, had concluded that the cause of death is neither suicidal or homicidal.

Vikas Pahwa also informed the court that since no report has been able to ascertain the actual cause of death of Pushkar, the police have conducted secondary methods such as 'psychological autopsy'.

He went on to explain 'psychological autopsy' as a valuable research conducted on competed suicide. It's done on complete information of the victim received from multiple informants and records to ascertain what was the mental condition of the victim of her death.

It was then argued that even the psychological autopsy report concludes that the cause of death can be neither suicidal or homicidal.

Mr Pahwa also informed the court that the night before her death, Sunanda Pushkar tweeted a joint statement which suggests that the couple 'had no issues with their marriage'.

It was also argued that despite having custody of everything, from phone to computer or the deceased, the police has peculiarly not put these tweets on record. To seek the same, an application was earlier moved under section 91 of Criminal Procedure Code. Mr Pahwa said:

'It is clear from both the CFSL Report as well as the chargesheet, that the prosecution do have the access to Twitter data of the deceased. They had collected the said data from the FSL which was retrieved from Pushkar's mobile phones, as seized by the police. Their chargesheet shows that they've relied on the tweet posted on 15/1/14. How did they get that tweet if they don't have the Twitter data?'

Arguing for the need to present the digital evidence before the court, Mr Pahwa cited cases such as Navjot Sandhu and Ajmal Kasab to show the importance of producing the digital evidence. He also said:

'Pushkar was very active on Twitter. She used to tweet almost every hour! These are relevant documents which cannot be hidden from the court'.

While highlighting that the Prosecution has a duty to follow the Doctrine of Disclosure, Mr Pahwa pointed out that it is evident in the Prosecutor's documents that they have analysed the social media accounts of the deceased. Therefore, how can they now say that they don't have a copy of the deceased's tweets? He added:

'Prosecution doesn't want to show the tweets because it goes against the narrative they've framed in the chargesheet'.
The Delhi police has filed chargesheet against the MP from Thiruvananthpuram for the offence of abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.

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