Sunanda case transferred to south district police

Just two days after the crime branch took over the investigations into the death of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, the case was transferred back to south district police late on Saturday night.

Sources in the crime branch told Deccan Herald that since a murder angle has been practically ruled out in the incident, the “specialised nature” of investigations by the department was uncalled for.

The probe into the death was earlier handed over to the crime branch on January 23 because the case involved a “high profile person”, normally investigated by the department. Moreover, the “sensitive nature” of the case was cited as another reason.

“The crime branch looks into high profile cases because of the availability of staff with technical skills and the overall better quality of investigations by the branch.

We specialise in tasks. But not much is left to be investigated in this case,” said the officer. He said the post-mortem report which said the death was due to poisoning and the external injuries on Pushkar’s body did not have anything to do with the death, was also a reason to return the case to the south district police.

“We have enough cases lined up for investigations. When there does not appear to be a foul play, giving the case to us would be an unnecessary burden,” the officer said, adding that the decision to hand over the case to crime branch in the first place was taken even before the post-mortem report had arrived.

A sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) had first conducted an inquiry and submitted the report to Delhi's south district police. The SDM suggested that police should investigate the incident after the post-mortem report arrives.

As per law, a case is handed over to a SDM if a couple has been married for less than seven years. Tharoor and Pushkar were married for less than four years.
Pushkar’s son from another marriage, and her brother have said that they do not believe Tharoor would have a role in her death.

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