HC junks Swamy plea for probe into Sunanda's death
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court ON THURSDAY rejected BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's plea seeking a court- monitored SIT probe into the death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, terming his PIL as a "textbook example of a political interest litigation".
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta chastised the BJP leader and his lawyer for making "sweeping allegations" in the petition against Tharoor and the Delhi Police, without giving any basis for these accusations. While dismissing the plea, the court said in future it expected Swamy to act with "circumspection" required from PIL petitioners.
Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a suite of a five-star hotel in Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.
Swamy, in his plea, had alleged that the police had "botched up" the probe and accused the Congress leader of "interfering" in the investigation now and even earlier when he was a minister in the UPA regime. When questioned about the source based on which he had made the allegations, the BJP leader and his lawyer, who is a co-petitioner, said they would file affidavits to reply to the court's query.
However, the bench rejected their offer, saying it appeared that they had concealed information pertinent to the case, which they ought to have disclosed when they had filed the petition. The court also said that Swamy ought to have mentioned his political affiliation as well as that of Tharoor in his petition as these facts were important to the adjudication of the case.
It also said the persons against whom the allegations were made ought to have been made a party in the petition, but Swamy and co-petitioner Ishkaran Singh Bhandari "have not thought fit to do so" and "no valid explanation" was given.
While Bhandari admitted to the lapse on his part for not paying attention to what was required to be filed under the law, Swamy vociferously defended his actions to the extent that heated words were exchanged with the bench.
"This is not my first PIL. It is not the first stage of hearing of the matter. The matter is at a final stage. This is the first time I am being subjected to these questions. This tantamounts to making an accusation against me of concealing facts," he said, adding that he takes "100 per cent responsibility" for not substantiating the allegations.
To this, the bench said, "how do you say you have not concealed when you are now asking for time to file an affidavit?"