Guwahati: A Delhi court has discharged Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who was booked under sections of subjecting a woman to cruelty and abetment to suicide in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
Special Judge Geetanjali Goel pronounced the order in a virtual hearing in which Tharoor was present. As Goel discharged Tharoor, she thanked the counsel for both parties, informing them that she learnt a lot from this hearing.
Tharoor told the court this had been “seven-and-a-half years of absolute torture”.
Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel room in Delhi on January 17, 2014. An FIR was initially registered by the Delhi Police on January 1, 2015 against unknown persons on charges of murder. Tharoor was later booked under IPC sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide).
On August 31, 2019, the Delhi Police had asked a Delhi court to prosecute Tharoor for abetment to suicide or “alternatively” frame murder charges against him in connection with Pushkar’s death.
The prosecution, spearheaded by Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Kumar Shrivastava, had submitted that while post-mortem opined the cause of death was poisoning, there were 15 ante mortem injuries of which were 12 hours to four days old and produced in a scuffle.
Tharoor’s lawyer, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, had rebutted this by stating that the cause of Pushkar’s death was yet to be established even though the police took a very “adventurous route” in its probe.
Pahwa had argued that “there are rather reports which say it was neither homicide nor suicide. A psychological autopsy was conducted. They wanted to know the mental status of the victim. But till date they are not clear whether she committed suicide or it was a homicide”.
The Delhi Police prosecutor had also told the court here that the SIT in the case had to approach the FBI because of the previous government at the time, stating that the CFSL report into her death was not right. Pahwa told the court that the prosecution has made “an irresponsible statement by claiming that the CFSL report was not right”.
He told the court that “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.”
Tharoor’s lawyer had also urged the court to bring on record Pushkar’s tweets, which was eventually rejected.