“I don’t care about the tests. I have no will to live. All I pray is death,” Sunanda Pushkar wrote in an email to her husband and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on January 8, 2014 — nine days before she died in a luxury suite at the capital’s Hotel Leela.
Highlighting this before a Delhi court on Monday to back the charges against Tharoor, Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Atul Shrivastava said: “This shows that she had no will to live.”
The Delhi Police has named Tharoor as an accused in the case, and charged him under IPC sections 498 (A) (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) in a chargesheet filed on May 14.
Under Section 498A, the maximum punishment is up to three years of imprisonment, while a jail term up to 10 years is prescribed under Section 306.
The chargesheet has dropped the murder charges. Initially, an FIR was registered by the Delhi Police on January 1, 2015, against unknown persons under IPC Section 302 (murder).
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal fixed June 5 to decide whether or not he will take cognizance of the chargesheet. Police said that Pushkar had died within four years of her marriage with Tharoor.
The couple married on August 22, 2010.
APP Shrivastava told the court that Sunanda’s death was due to poisoning, and 27 Alprax tablets were found in her room, but it was not clear how many pills she had consumed.
“Cause of death is poisoning… We have enough evidence of cruelty. There were ante-mortem injuries on her body,” the prosecutor told the court.
Trying to substantiate the allegations, he gave one more example: “Once, Sunanda Pushkar had gone to the washroom at an airport. Tharoor left, and she had to call a friend for help.”
Meanwhile, Tharoor’s counsel requested the court to extend the hearing — the matter was fixed at 3 pm but had started early. To this, APP Shrivastava said, “You don’t have any locus now… You can only say this when you are summoned.”
On May 14, the Delhi Police had urged the court that Tharoor be summoned as an accused in the four-and-a-half- year-old case, claiming that there was sufficient evidence against him.