A Delhi sessions court Thursday deferred hearing in the Sunanda Pushkar case in which her husband and Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor is facing abetment to suicide and cruelty charges. The case will be taken up on March 7.
Tharoor has been charged under sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but has not been arrested in the case. The Thiruvananthapuram MP was granted regular bail last year.
Last year, police filed a chargesheet and accused Tharoor of abetment to suicide, more than four years after Pushkar was found dead. Later, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a petition in the Patiala House Courts, seeking a direction to Delhi Police to produce the report of a vigilance enquiry conducted in the Pushkar case.
On February 4 this year, the Patiala House Court sent the case for trial after dismissing Swamy’s plea seeking to assist the court in the matter. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal had directed Tharoor to appear before District and Sessions Judge Arun Bhardwaj on that day. The magistrate also termed as “not maintainable” BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s application seeking directions to the Delhi Police to allow him to assist the prosecution in the case.
On Swamy’s application that Delhi Police be directed to produce the vigilance inquiry report conducted after Pushkar’s death, the magistrate said: “The Commissioner of Police, Delhi, shall keep the report preserved so that in case it is required by the court of sessions during trial for any purpose, it may be available.”
On Tharoor’s application that Delhi Police as well as the prosecution not share the chargesheet and other documents with any third party, the magistrate said, “The prosecution, as well as the Delhi Police, shall not share with any third person the chargesheet till next date of hearing, as the final adjudication on this application has to be done by the sessions court being the trial court.”
The court had directed Delhi Police to hand over various documents filed along with the chargesheet, including statements of witnesses, to Tharoor on a plea moved by him. The Thiruvananthapuram MP was granted regular bail on July 7, 2018, after he appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued against him. The court had on June 5 last year summoned Tharoor, observing there was sufficient ground to proceed against him.
Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014. The couple was staying in the hotel as the official bungalow of Tharoor was being renovated at that time.