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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Sunanda Pushkar case: SIT had to approach FBI under previous govt, prosecution tells court

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing on behalf of Tharoor, told the court the prosecution had made ‘an irresponsible statement by claiming the CFSL report was not right’ and that they thus had to approach the FBI.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: April 13, 2021 11:24:57 am
sunanda pushkar, shashi tharoor, sunanda pushkar death case, sunanda pushkar shashi tharoor trial, sunanda pushkar case FBI, sunanda pushkar case UPA govt, indian express, delhi newsSunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel room in Delhi on January 17, 2014. Tharoor was booked under IPC sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide).

The Delhi Police prosecutor told a court here Monday that the Special Investigative Team (SIT) in the Sunanda Pushkar death case had to approach the FBI because of the “government at the time”.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava stated this while making his rebuttal before Special Judge Geetanjali Goel, who will announce on April 29 the order on framing of charge against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, an accused in the case.

“There was sweating in the clothes in the bedsheet, in the part of the human body. These all things were there, so why this CFSL has not said so? Because it is the central government at that time…so the SIT was compelled to take the services of FBI,” Srivastava told the court.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing on behalf of Tharoor, told the court that the prosecution has made “an irresponsible statement by claiming that the CFSL report was not right” and that they thus had to approach the FBI. “He is doubting his own CFSL report. Why did you annexe that report then?” Pahwa asked.

Srivastava replied, “Otherwise you would say we concealed the reports.”

Srivastava told the court that the “FBI has been able to find traces of Alprazolam not just within the body but around the body also…death due to natural causes is ruled out in this particular case. What more is required? The cause of death is poisoning through oral route…however injectable route too cannot be ruled out.”

The Judge said, “My question is can the prosecution go only on suppositions?”

“This is not a supposition…this is why a trial is required,” Srivastava told the court.

Srivastava asked if Pahwa could point out a single instance in the chargesheet where Pushkar’s death was termed a natural death.

The court asked, “What would be accidental death, according to you?”

“You will have to infer from the report, but why set aside things which are concrete? This is a conclusive report that this was poisoning,” Srivastava said.

Pahwa told the court that the prosecution’s argument, that ‘all the evidence adduced before the court does not establish that it is a case of suicide but we will be establishing so during the trial’, had a serious flaw.

“Who will come and tell you during the course of trial? Doctor has already said I cannot give you any opinion on this. What is important is whether it is accidental or not. It is not my theory, it is the theory of the doctors,” Pahwa told the court.

Pahwa also informed the court about the timing of the CFSL report and the FBI report, to make the point that the government had changed by then. “My lord may see the dates of the report. The dates are 20 August, 2014 and 23 December, 2014 by the time the election had happened and the government had changed.

How can he make such a statement? That UPA government was there…what kind of argument is this,” Pahwa told the court.

“Those reports stated that no Alprax was found in the blood or body. None of the labs in India say that Alprax was found. The FBI report stated that only traces were found because she was consuming one or two tablets…this theory is in the air. It is only a figment of imagination of the prosecutor,” Pahwa added.

On August 31, 2019, the Delhi Police asked a Delhi court to prosecute Tharoor for abetment to suicide or “alternatively” frame murder charges against him in connection with Pushkar’s death.

Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel room in Delhi on January 17, 2014. Initially, an FIR was registered by the Delhi Police on January 1, 2015, against unknown persons on charges of murder.

Tharoor was booked under IPC sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide).

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