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“I got the petition through Bar & Bench”, Sunanda Pushkar’s son to Delhi HC
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“I got the petition through Bar & Bench”, Sunanda Pushkar’s son to Delhi HC

Ashutosh Gambhir

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Delhi Police and Subramanian Swamy in an intervention application by Sunanda Pushkar’s son Shiv Menon in Swamy’s petition calling for an SIT investigation into Puskhar’s death.

The applicantion filed by Sunanda Puskhar’s son states,

“The applicant is extremely perturbed to come across continuous updates regarding the death of his mother which has become a sensational news and a topic of unfettered gossip amongst the common people who do not have complete knowledge about the facts and circumstances of the case.”

It is a cause of concern for the applicant that various materials deemed to be confidential and forming part of the investigation process is coming under the purview of unfettered access of the public at large.”

Appearing for the applicant, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa stated that as per the Delhi High Court Rules, an aggrieved person must be made a party in such a situation.

However, the Bench of Justices GS Sistani and Chander Shekhar retorted by asking whether the son is in fact affected by the petition that seeks a court-monitored probe into his mother’s death.

“Why are you here?” asked the Bench.

Pahwa answered that the son does not have access to the findings of the investigation, while the same is being shared with an outsider (Swamy). He argued that Swamy does not have locus standi in the present situation and his sole objective is to garner publicity through the said petition.

“The petition is being circulated everywhere even before the hearing took place. I myself got the petition through Bar & Bench.”

Pahwa submitted that he only wants to challenge the intention of the petitioner.

“Don’t give a copy of the status report to Swamy until the question of his locus standi is settled”, submitted Pahwa.

However, the judges made it clear that they cannot stop anybody from filing such a petition unless there is good reason. They also stated that they have not given Swamy their seal of approval on the question of maintainability of the petition.

“The status report has not yet been placed before us. Giving a copy to the petitioner is the prerogative of the Standing Counsel and is in itself not a big issue.”

Appearing for the Delhi Police, Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra stated that he tried to maintain transparency by agreeing to share a copy of the status report with the petitioner.

“We are damned if we share and damned if we don’t” , said Mehra.

Mehra further stated that he found it strange that a son is objecting to a petition seeking a probe into his mother’s death. This observation was seconded by the Bench,

“That is what we thought. A son should be extremely happy that a probe is sought in his mother’s death. It gives him an opportunity to ask why a chargesheet has not been filed.”

The Bench concluded by saying that if in a criminal case, the chargesheet is not filed in 3 years, then it is a serious matter. The Bench further stated that the son should first get himself impleaded in the petition and then they will hear his submissions.

The matter will be next heard on August 1.

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