SC Notice To Delhi Police On Swamy's Plea For Court-Monitored SIT Probe Into Sunanda Pushkar Death

"Leaving the question of maintainability open, let notice be issued", said a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and A M Khanwilkar.

The Supreme Court bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, on Friday, issued notice on a 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, while keeping open the question regarding the maintainability of the petition.

"Leaving the question of maintainability open, let notice be issued", ordered a bench

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.