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The Shraddha Murder Case: The Delhi HC denies a petition for transfer of the investigation to the CBI and imposes costs

Issue

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by Attorney Joginder Tuli asking for the transfer of the investigation into the infamous Shraddha Walkar murder case from the Delhi police to the Central Bureau of Investigation was rejected by the Delhi High Court bench consisting of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad (CBI).

Facts

Aftab Poonawala was detained by Delhi police on November 11 in connection with the murder of his companion Shraddha Walkar. The accused strangled the victim after a fight between the couple in a Mehrauli rental apartment, cut her body into 35 pieces, put them in a refrigerator, and then dumped the pieces throughout the city.

Joginder Tuli, an attorney, filed a PIL alleging that the Delhi Police exposed crucial and minute aspects of the case to the public through the media. The argument emphasised that the victim’s body parts were allegedly dismembered and dumped at several locations after she was killed in Delhi. According to the Mehrauli Police Station is not staffed or equipped to conduct the investigation. Additionally, it was indicated that interference with the evidence and the witnesses in the aforementioned case occurred as a result of media coverage and undue exposure at the location of the retrieval and court proceedings.

The Delhi police are currently conducting an inquiry, and the high court ruled that the court cannot monitor this process. In addition to dismissing the plea, costs were also imposed. It further revealed that the senior police officials handling the aforementioned case have already finished 80% of the investigation. According to Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, one of the arguments against the plea was that a private party through a PIL cannot determine how an investigation should be carried out. Santosh Tripathi, the standing counsel for the Delhi government, and Attorney Arun Panwar claimed that the petitioner had done no study and that the plea had been filed without identifying any pertinent grounds, and that it thus deserved to be dismissed with high costs.

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