The death of Sunanda Pushkar wife of Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor continues to remain a mystery even after the Delhi Police filed an over 3000 page chargesheet. Tharoor 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).
The Delhi Police had clearly stated that the death was not due to natural causes as it was being played out to be but due to unnatural causes; and poisoning either through injection or orally could not be ruled out.
GoaChronicle poses thirteen questions to the Delhi Police on the investigations conducted on the murder of Sunanda Pushkar.
1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in its January 20th 2014 report stated the death was by poisoning. In the post-mortem report AIIMS team lead by Dr Sudhir Gupta reported 15 injury marks in the body of Sunanda Pushkar. However, the Delhi Police failed to register an FIR on the case. While one can understand that it was necessary to determine the exact nature of the poison by sending the viscera samples to FSL, CSL and FBI, what fails to understand the delay on part of the Delhi Police to file an FIR. The delay in the FIR lead to the delay in the investigations, that could have led to the tampering of the evidence in such a high-profile and sensitive case.
2. The mobile phones of Sunanda Pushkar that were recovered at the scene of the crime at the Leela Hotel were handed over to her husband Shashi Tharoor was has been charged by the Delhi Police under Sections 306 and Section 498 (A) of IPC by the Delhi Police. Then on January 30th – Blackberry Mobile with Airtel SIM 947777007 and Blackberry Mobile with Vodafone SIM 971566441889 with a Dubai number was seized. One Blackberry mobile Vodafone SIM 999955007 was also seized on January 30th. Reportedly many data and dates on the were found deleted after the phones were seized. It makes no sense as to the reasons behind Delhi Police handing over Sunanda’s phones to Shashi Tharoor when investigations are still in process in a death case, would it not be common sense to any investigation team that important data, messages or call-records could be erased. The most surprising bit of information is that the mobile phones were given to Shashi Tharoor at his residence.
3. The Delhi Police even failed to seize the Apple Max laptop of Sunanda Pushkar. Her some Shiv Memon reportedly took the laptop with him to Dubai. The police only seized the laptop after eight days on January 25th, 2014.
4. During investigations it was learned through the hotel staff of the Leela Hotel that three foreign nationals were staying at the hotel from January 15 to January 18th 2012. These foreign national were staying at the hotel under fake passports. Delhi Police announced to the media that it will be following up on this lead and an ACP will travel to Dubai to investigate on these findings of foreign nationals with fake passports and also investigate into the IPL links to this death if any. Till today the Delhi Police have not made public their investigations into the foreign nationals staying with a fake passport at the Leela Hotel two-days prior and one-day after the death of Sunanda Pushkar.
5. The CCTV recordings of the floor where Sunanda Pushkar was staying at the Leela Hotel was available on the hotel server until January 17, 2014 23.57 hours, after that reportedly there are no visuals. Even the CCTV footage of the main entrance to the hotel is available till 17.44 hrs of January 15, 2014 after that the CCTV footage is only available from January 27, 2014 from 12.12 hours. It is incredible that a luxury hotel such as Leela failed to have CCTV footage of its main entrance for 12-whole days. What happened to the CCTV footages? Where the footages of Sunanda Pushkar’s floor and that of the main entrance deleted to hide crucial evidence? Was not Delhi Police Vivek Gogia contact with the Leela Hotel Management to procure the CCTV footage? Who deleted these crucial footages and why? And if someone in Delhi Police has not deleted the footages then someone a the Leela Hotel would have certainly have deleted the footage? Why no one is Leela Hotel under scrutiny?
6. It is interesting to note that no medicine or tablets were seized from the room on January 18, 2014 – the day after the death of Sunanda Pushkar. IAlprax and other medicines were reportedly seized only on January 19, 2014? According to the AIIMS Medical Report September 27, 2014 stated that none of the treatment documents of Sunanda Pushkar has mentioned prescription of Tablet Alprax which was found at the scene of the death. It further goes on to state two used Alprax strip of capacity of 15 tablets were recovered from the crime scene, however the viscera report is negative for presence of Alprazolam. Why were the medicines not seized on January 18th and the Delhi Police wait til January 19th? Could it be that the two strips of Alprax be placed later at the crime scene on January 19th, since it was not seized on January 18th.
7. It is shocking to note that the eatables in the room where Sunanda died in a mysterious manner were seized only in November 2014. She died on January 17, 2014, one fails to comprehend why would take the Delhi Police 11 months to seize the eatables during an investigation into a very sensitive case.
8. AIIMS Medical Report pointed to shocking failures of the Delhi Police. First the Investigating Officer (IO) did not submit photographs of scene of occurrence to the AIIMS team. Second statements and other circumstantial evidences were not submitted by IO. There were medicines recovered from the scene of incidence. The IO never furnished the details to AIIMS about who prescribed these drugs, from where these drugs were procured and for whom these drugs were prescribed. Conditions of bed sheet/mattress on which Sunanda Pushkar also needed Forensic analysis.
9. Six persons, including three “prime witnesses” in the Sunanda Pushkar death case, were put through a lie detector test. Domestic help Narain Singh, Driver Bajrangi, close-family friend Sanjay Dewan, SK Sharma, Vilas Ahlawat and Sunil Takru were put under the Polygraph. The Delhi Police has not made public the details of its lie-detector test findings. When does it plan to tell the people of India the facts concealed by Narain Singh, Bajrangi and Sanjay Dewan such as the power-cut in room 345 at Leela Hotel on January 17, 2014.
10. In continuation with the Polygraph line of questioning it is interesting to note that while the Domestic Help Narain Singh, Driver Bajrangi and close family-friend Sanjay Dewan were made to take the lie detector test, Shashi Tharoor who is 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 has not been taken for a Polygraph Test till date.
11. Sunanda Tharoor was staying in Room 307 but her body was found in Room 345. Why has Delhi Police tell date not ascertain this vital fact in their investigation. Why was Sunanda Pushkar’s moved from 307 to 345. A leading national channel had also broken this aspect of the story in 2017. Hotels records at the Leela Hotel will indicate that she was booked in 307. Shashi Tharoor had reportedly booked Room 342 and Room 345. In fact three friends of Sunanda Pushkar met with her in Room 307. Even Shashi Tharoor met with her in Room 307 and later on he decided to stay at the hotel as Sunanda’s anger of Mehr Tarar relationship with Tharoor had not subsided.
12. Another important vital aspect which the Delhi Police seemed to have kept quiet on its investigations is that they have not yet filed (but has promised the Court) Supplementary Charge-Sheet on the 15 injury marks on Sunanda’s body, found in the post-mortem report submitted by AIIMS.
13. Vigilance Enquiry was ordered by the Delhi Police Commissioner in 2016. This Vigilance Report sources have informed GoaChronicle points out to serious lapses in the investigations conducted by the first Delhi Police team probing the death of Sunanda which was headed by Joint Commissioner of People of Delhi Vivek Gogia. Why has Delhi Police not made the Vigilance Enquiry public and most importantly why did Delhi CP set up the Vigilance Enquiry unless it felt that there were serious anomalies in the first investigations in the first place. Is Delhi Police protecting one of its own Vivek Gogia for serious lapses in investigations?