The Delhi High court rejected BJP MP Subramanian swamy’s petition for a Court monitored probe into the mysterious death of Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014 .
The Delhi HC said that this is perhaps a textbook example of “political interest litigation “being dressed up as PIL. A bench of justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta said the petition by Swamy cannot be entertained as PIL. According to HC, Swamy appeared to have concealed data or information which he should have disclosed at the first instance.
“Although Subramanian Swamy claimed he has not concealed any data or information, when asked specifically about the basis of his allegations in the petition, his response was to seek time to file affidavit thereby clearly showing that what was to be disclosed at the first instance was not done,” the court said.
Courts need to be careful that judicial process is not used by political persons for their own purposes,” the Press Trust of India quoted the HC as saying. “This is not to say that political persons cannot file PILs, but courts have to be extra cautious when allegations are made against other political persons.”
The court also commented on the online availability of Swamy’s petition as well as status report before it was presented to the court .
“Where serious allegations are made, petitioners need to be circumspect about placing it on the net or social media before consideration by the court as it could have irreversible consequences,” it said. The bench said this caution has to be exercised in all matters where reputation and privacy of an individual was involved.
Swamy had sought the setting up of a multi-disciplinary SIT consisting of Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, RAW, Delhi Police and headed by the CBI. Swamy had alleged that “inordinate delay” was caused in the investigation “which is a blot on the justice system”.
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.
The Centre and Delhi Police, represented by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, told the bench that they “do not subscribe to Swamy’s view” that the probe was being influenced by Tharoor.
Sunanda Pushkar was mysteriously found dead in Leela suite in Delhi on the night of January 17 2014 . Inhis petition, Swamy said there has been constant attempt to block the investigation and alleged that the registration of an FIR took almost a year and nothing has happened after that.
Swamy cannot make such “sweeping allegation”, said the bench, as he sought time to file a separate affidavit to give details of the basis of his petition. The court also questioned Swamy for not stating anywhere in his petition that he is a leader of the BJP and that the person against whom he was making the allegation was from the Congress.