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Delhi Police De-Seal Suite Where Sunanda Pushkar Was Found Dead

The Leela Palace in Delhi claims to have suffered a loss of over Rs 50 lakh on sealing the suite.

Updated
India
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The Delhi Police on Monday, 16 October, de-sealed room No. 345 of Hotel Leela where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife, Sunanda Pushkar, was found dead in 2014.

A Delhi court had on Tuesday, 10 October, granted the police time till 16 October after an Additional Commissioner of Police submitted that the reports from the forensic laboratory were likely to come in a couple of days.

The court had earlier rapped the police for not complying with its order to de-seal the suite.

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While the South Delhi hotel has been urging the court to direct the police to de-seal the room which was sealed for investigation soon after Pushkar was found dead on the night of 17 January 2014, the court has also been directing the police to do so on several occasions.

Hours after Pushkar was found dead, the suite was sealed for investigation. An FIR was registered by the Delhi police on 1 January 2015 against unknown persons under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

The police was on 12 September directed to de-seal the suite and allowed the police to take all articles from the room required for its probe, besides filing a compliance report by 10 October. In this order, the court also noted that the hotel had already faced a huge financial loss.

On 4 September too, the court had taken the police to task for its "lethargic attitude" in its probe into the case, and summoned the DCP to explain why more time should be granted for de-sealing the suite.

Similarly on 19 August, the court had pulled up the agency for delaying the de-sealing of the room and referred to a court order of 21 July asking it to do so within four weeks from then.

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The court noted that no offence was found on part of the hotel and that no police official visited the suite in more than one year. The hotel had submitted before the court that locking of the suite would create sanitary and cleanliness issues for it.

The police had said in its status report that it was not able to reach a definitive conclusion regarding the cause of Pushkar's death.

The hotel had said that due to the sealing of the suite, which costs between Rs 55,000 and Rs 61,000 a night, it had suffered a loss of over Rs 50 lakh in the last three years, claiming that it no longer needs to be kept sealed.

(With inputs from PTI)

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