Plea For SIT Probe In To Sunanda Puhskar's Death : SC Asks Subramanian Swamy To Argue On The Question Of Maintainability First

The Supreme Court bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy, on Monday, while hearing the Special Leave Petition (SLP) preferred by BJP Leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy against the Delhi High Court order dismissing the plea for multidisciplinary SIT or CBI probe in the death of Sunanda Pushkar, terming it as 'Political Interest Litigation'

“I was arguing the PIL regarding the mode of auction of the the IPL media rights by the BCCI when the death of Ms. Pushkar in such mysterious circumstances caught my attention. It took one year to file a FIR in respect of the death despite the the autopsy and the post-mortem report confirming that it was an unnatural death. Even the FIR claimed it as a murder”, submitted Mr. Swamy on Monday.

“What is the conclusion of the police on this? Do they say it is an unnatural death?”, inquired the bench.

“That is what even I want. I want the police to file their reply”, said the petitioner-in-person.

“We understand the matter on its merits. But we need to be satisfied regarding the maintainability of the petition, considering the opinion expressed by the High Court”, remarked the bench.

Elaborating the grounds for the concerns regarding the maintainability, the bench said, “Firstly, the investigation is still going on. And secondly, the mode that you have adopted”.

“I have even appeared in the Jayalalitha case as a politician. This is a matter of public interest”, advanced Mr. Swamy.

Finally, Mr. Swamy agreed to argue on the issue of maintainability. The matter is scheduled for further hearing in 3 weeks.

The Delhi High Court had, on October 26, 2017, dismissed what it termed ‘political’ interest litigation filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and advocate Ishkaran Bhandari seeking SIT or CBI probe into the “mysterious” death of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

The bench noted that Swamy had nowhere mentioned in the petition that he is a BJP leader or that Tharoor is a Congress leader. Further, he had omitted to implead Tharoor.

Nothing has been placed on record to probablise, let alone substantiate, the vague and sweeping allegations made in the petition that the investigation was “botched” by the Delhi Police at the “behest of the rich and influential”. The bench said the failure by Dr Swamy to disclose the full facts and information in his possession, assuming that his assertion in this regard is right, is perhaps the fatal lapse.

Noting that PILs filed in the Delhi High Court have to conform to the Delhi High Court (Public Interest Litigation) Rules, 2010, the bench observed that Swamy and Bhandari filed identical affidavits that they have not concealed any information from the court but went on to seek more time to file another affidavit when asked about the basis of allegations made in the PIL.

On a careful examination of the status reports filed in the court in the petition, the High Court was unable to be persuaded that the investigation being carried out by the SIT, headed by DCP, Delhi Police, Mr. Ishwar Singh, is ‘botched up’ or under the influence of anyone.

Before concluding, the court adverted to the “disturbing feature” where that one day prior to the petition being heard by the court first on July 12, 2017, the entire petition was available on the internet.