NEW DELHI: The controversy over Sunanda Pushkar's death deepened Thursday as senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a CBI probe into the matter since it could be concerned with her threat to disclose "money-laundering" in the IPL.
Both the Congress and Sunanda's husband and former minister Shashi Tharoor maintained that the matter is being investigated and refused to elaborate.
AIIMS forensic department head Sudhir Gupta, who revived the controversy by claiming that he was pressured to write in his post mortem report that the death was "natural", Thursday said his report was based on the principles and ethics of medicine.
Speaking to IANS, Swamy said: "I have written to the prime minister seeking a CBI probe into Sunanda Pushkar's death."
He said he has, in fact, asked Modi in the letter to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which should include members of the Intelligence Bureau and as well as the Enforcement Directorate "in view of the fact that the cause of death could have something to do with her threat of disclosure of the money laundering in the IPL scam, involving the son-in-law of a powerful political figure of the UPA".
Swamy in his letter said the death has been "hanging fire till today" and that the "FIR registered in the matter has not been acted upon and the final report has yet to be filed".
In his letter, he mentioned the post mortem report, which had stated that Pushkar had 12 major injuries on her body and forearm. Swamy said "it seemed like an injection" was administered to her.
It further said an affidavit filed in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) by Gupta has fully re-opened the issue. "Hence in these circumstances, a SIT inquiry should be set up on your direction."
Pushkar, 52, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her room at a five-star hotel in south Delhi Jan 17.
The post mortem report had said the cause of death was "sudden" and Pushkar died of "drug overdose."
The autopsy report had shown "Alprazolam poisoning" and also stated that "all the injuries were caused by blunt force, simple in nature and not contributing to death, produced during a scuffle.
In his report, Gupta had said there was an injury mark indicating an injection mark and also teeth bites. Pushkar had a total of 15 injuries on her body, sustained during 12 hours to four days.
Delhi Police had set up a SIT a few days after the mysterious death to probe the case as Pushkar died a little after three years of the marriage. According to Indian law, a death is probed by either a magistrate or police if it has occurred within seven years of the marriage.
Earlier in the day, Gupta told media persons that his report was based on the principles and ethics of medicine. "I want to clarify that not only Sunanda Pushkar, but all the post-mortem reports prepared by me are based on the principles and ethics of medicine," he said. He later refused to talk to the media.
Sources in the know said that Gupta had asked AIIMS authorities for permission to talk to the media but was denied it.
Gupta had claimed he had refused to bow down to pressure and gave a right autopsy report. But the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) officials refuted his allegations Wednesday.
Gupta in an affidavit before the CAT two months ago had alleged that a decision was taken by AIIMS to promote his junior O.P. Murthy as the head of the forensic medicine and toxicology department and to remove him. On June 5, Gupta had written to union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who in turn has asked AIIMS for a report on the matter.
Refusing to be dragged into the controversy, Murthy, additional professor in the department, told IANS: "The matter is sub-judice. There is a court hearing July 11 and things will be clear then."
Delhi Police Taking Legal Opinion
Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi also reiterated that if required police would talk to Gupta.
"Let the issue be examined. Once it is completed, whatever is relevant will be done. I have already said that if required we will talk to Sudhir Gupta," he said. Sources said Delhi Police is taking legal opinion in the matter.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said the matter was being investigated and he has nothing more to add, while Tharoor said: "It is a process, we will leave it to investigators to sort it out."
On Wednesday, Tharoor had issued a statement saying he wants a thorough investigation by the authorities to be conducted and concluded rapidly and transparently.
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