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Sunanda Pushkar Case: Tharoor Summoned as Court Says 'Sufficient Ground' to Proceed Against Him

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, while reading out the order, said that "there existed sufficient ground to proceed against Tharoor" on charges of “abetment to suicide" and “cruelty” towards his deceased wife.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:June 5, 2018, 3:46 PM IST
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New Delhi: Four years after Sunanda Pushkar’s death, a Delhi court on Tuesday took cognisance of the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police and summoned her husband and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on July 7.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, while reading out the order, said that "there existed sufficient ground to proceed against Tharoor" on charges of “abetment to suicide" and “cruelty” towards his deceased wife.

"I have gone through chargesheet and documents filed. On the basis of police report I take cognisance for the offence of abetment to suicide punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code and committing cruelty upon late Sunanda Pushkar under Section 498A IPC by Shashi Tharoor," said the judge.

ACMM Samar Vishal also said that "there exists sufficient grounds to proceed against Tharoor under Section 306 and 498A of IPC."

On May 28, urging the court to take cognisance of the chargesheet, the Delhi Police cited a poem written by the deceased while levelling charges of abetment to suicide and cruelty against Tharoor.

Atul Kumar Srivastava, the Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for Delhi Police, submitted that Sunanda had e-mailed a poem to Tharoor on January 5, just a few weeks before she was found dead in the room of a 5-star hotel in the national capital.

"I don't care about test, I don't have will to live, All I pray for is death’ is the mail that Sunanda wrote to Shashi Tharoor," said the Delhi Police counsel.

The Delhi Police in its chargesheet, which runs into around 3,000 pages, had alleged that Tharoor had subjected his wife to cruelty. The chargesheet has been filed more than four years after Tharoor’s wife was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a Delhi hotel room.

It concluded that Pushkar killed herself and hence no one has been charged with murder. The chargesheet was filed before the metropolitan magistrate under sections 498 A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

The chargesheet mentions marital discord as the cause of suicide and says that one party led the other to commit suicide. “Sunanda Pushkar was being harassed for long. Her medical records show she was suffering from depression,” the chargesheet said.

Tharoor had responded to the chargesheet in two tweets, calling it preposterous and said that he would contest it vigorously. “No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part. If this is conclusion arrived at after 4+ yrs of investigation, it does not speak well of the methods or motivations of the Delhi Police,” he wrote.

Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel room on January 17, 2014, days after being embroiled in a Twitter war with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over the latter’s alleged closeness with Tharoor.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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