The Rouse Avenue court on 18 August discharged Indian National Congress (INC) leader Shashi Tharoor in connection with Sunanda Pushkar death case.
Special Judge Geetanjali Goel pronounced the order in presence of Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appearing on behalf of Tharoor, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava and Tharoor himself.
Tharoor thanked the Court for discharging him of all offences and said “It had been seven and half years and it was a torture. I’m so grateful.”
Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of 17 January 2014. INC Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, husband of Sunanda Pushkar is the main accused in the matter according to the Delhi Police.
In May 2018, Delhi Police had filed its charge sheet against Shashi Tharoor, a former union minister, who is currently on bail in the case, under Sections 498-A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
On August 31, 2019, 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 h 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.