Stating that there exist “sufficient grounds” to proceed, a Delhi court Tuesday summoned Congress MP Shashi Tharoor as an accused in a case registered against him in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death in 2014.
Taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police under IPC sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal asked Tharoor to appear before the court on July 7.
“On the last date of hearing, I heard Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava. I have gone through and perused the chargesheet (police report under Section 173 CrPC) and documents filed along with it by the Special Investigation Team. On the basis of the police report, I take cognizance of offence of abetment of suicide of late Sunanda Pushkar and of committing cruelty upon by Dr Shashi Tharoor,” ACMM Vishal said.
Pushkar died, allegedly of poisoning, in a luxury suite at Hotel Leela in 2014. Initially, an FIR was registered by Delhi Police on January 1, 2015, against unknown persons under IPC Section 302 (murder). However, the chargesheet by Delhi Police on May 14 dropped murder charges.
On the previous date of hearing, Shrivastava, seeking to substantiate the charges against Tharoor, informed the court that Pushkar wrote an email just days before her death, expressing her unwillingness to live. The court also heard BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s application wherein he sought directions to the Delhi Police to produce a vigilance inquiry report highlighting loopholes in conducting Pushkar’s death investigation.
My statement on today’s news. pic.twitter.com/5zWf4PR9ue
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 5, 2018
Swamy also asked the court to permit him to assist the prosecution while conducting the present case. Opposing his application, APP Shrivastava said it was premature and added that the vigilance report that Swamy sought was not required. “This court being a magisterial court is not going to conduct the trial… Therefore, the application is premature. Taking report of the vigilance inquiry on record is not required since police has already done its work,” the APP said.
“Let the prosecution file a written reply of this application by the next date of hearing with advance copy to Swamy,” it said. Meanwhile, Tharoor released a statement: “From the very start I have fully cooperated with the investigating team and continue to maintain that due legal process must be followed in all aspects related to this case… I would like to reiterate my position that I find charges preposterous and baseless, the product of a malicious and vindictive campaign against myself. I will continue to vigorously contest these charges…”