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Sunanda Pushkar death case: Court orders de-sealing of hotel suite

NEW DELHI: In what could be a setback to Delhi police, a court has asked for de-sealing within four weeks suite number 345 of Hotel Leela where the dead body of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was found.

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Dr Pankaj Sharma observed that the police had not reached any “definitive conclusion” regarding Pushkar’s death and the hotel couldn’t be made to suffer for this reason.

“The court is of the considered view that suite number 345 of Hotel Leela be de-sealed within four weeks from today…. It goes without saying that if the investigating agency is unable to conclude investigation by this time due to some exceptional circumstances warranting more time, they may approach the court by way of appropriate application,” the court held.

The hotel on Friday submitted that insects and bugs had infested the locked room and it is willing to transfer its materials to another room so that the investigation is not hampered. The hotel submitted that the room had been lying locked since January 17, 2014 and no police team has visited the room for over a year. Huge financial loss is being incurred by the hotel, it submitted.

The court, therefore, said that the hotel’s apprehension of sanitary and cleanliness issues due to the room being lock for a prolonged period appeared to be “reasonable”. “The hotel cannot be put to unending hardship and loss due to lethargy on the part of the investigating team,” said the MM Sharma.

Sunanda, wife of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at Leela Palace Hotel on January 17, 2014.  Her body was found by Tharoor when he returned to the hotel in the evening after a Congress meeting. A year later, an FIR under IPC 302 (murder) was registered.

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