Yesterday, the Delhi Police urged a city court to prosecute Shashi Tharoor for betment to suicide or “in alternative” on murder charge in the case involving the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014. The investigation agency prayed before the special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, “Please frame sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty), 306 (abetment of suicide) or in alternative 302 (murder) IPC against the accused (Shashi Tharoor).” Senior public prosecutor Atul Srivastava made the submissions during arguments on framing of charges in the high-profile case. Shashi Tharoor who is currently a Lok Sabha MP and former Union Minister, is out on bail in this case. He was charged by the Delhi Police under Sections 498-A and 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The prosecutor read out a statement of the couple’s domestic help who is a witness in the present case and said that Tharoor and his deceased wife had a fight over a girl named Katy and some Blackberry messages. The prosecutor also went on to state that before her death, Sunanda Pushkar wanted to address a press conference on the IPL issue. According to the prosecutor, she had also said, “I will not leave him [Shashi Tharoor].” The witness had also reportedly told police that a year before her demise, the couple used to fight a lot.
The Delhi Police has also stated before the court that the deceased was suffering mental agony on account of her strained relationship with her husband. As per the police, she had a scuffle with her husband and various injury marks few days before her death. The police accused Tharoor of torturing his wife which abetted her to commit suicide. The investigation agency also told the Court that as per the post-mortem report, the cause of the deceased’s death was poisoning and a total of 15 injury marks were found on her body, including in forearm, arms and legs.
The prosecutor also stated that Tharoor’s relation with Mehr Tarar, a Pakistani journalist also added up to Pushkar’s mental agony. He also told the court about the deceased’s friend and journalist Nalini Singh’s statement, claiming that the relationship between the couple was tense and bad. Her statement also forms a part of the chargesheet. In her statement Nailini Singh had said, “She [Sunanda Pushkar] told she helped Shashi Tharoor a lot in IPL matter. She had found some messages between Tarar and Tharoor. She refused to go to their house and instead went to Leela hotel. The relation between the couple was very bad.”
Senior Advocate, Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Shashi Tharoor, refuted the prosecution’s arguments. He said that the prosecutor “did not read the opinions of the experts who conducted the Psychological Autopsy, who have categorically held that this is neither a case of homicide nor suicide but due to some unidentified biological reasons.” He also said that the prosecutor “did not read the opinions of the experts who conducted the Psychological Autopsy, who have categorically held that this is neither a case of homicide nor suicide but due to some unidentified biological reasons.” He also argued, “There is nothing in the statements of the family or friends, which shows that Dr. Tharoor has ever treated her with cruelty. On the contrary, there are many statements which say that Dr. Tharoor had always treated Sunanda which civility and respect, but not read.” Apart from this, he contended, “Every bit of evidence collected by the SIT speaks just the opposite to what the Prosecutor has argued today.”
The case will now come up for next hearing on October 17.