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Monday 27 January 2020

Sunanda death: Shashi Tharoor summoned as accused by court

However, Tharoor dubbed the charges as "preposterous and baseless" and the product of a malicious and vindictive campaign against him

New Delhi: Stating that there exist “sufficient grounds” to proceed, a Delhi court on 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 charge sheet 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 the Lok Sabha MP Tharoor to appear before the court on 7 July.

However, Tharoor dubbed the charges as “preposterous and baseless” and the product of a malicious and vindictive campaign against him that he will “vigorously contest”.

In a statement, Tharoor said he maintains steadfast conviction that ultimately the truth will prevail through the judicial system.

“I would like to reiterate my position that I find the charges preposterous and baseless, the product of a malicious and vindictive campaign against myself.

“I will continue to vigorously contest these charges and maintain the steadfast conviction that ultimately the truth will prevail through the judicial system that we are privileged to have in our country,” he added.

The Delhi Police on its part said it has “professionally” investigated the charges against the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram and will defend them in the court.

“There exists sufficient grounds to proceed against Tharoor for the commission of offences of Section 306 and 498 A of IPC. Issue summons to him for an appearance on 7 July,” the judge said.

Pushkar, 51, was found dead in a luxury hotel room in the capital on the night of 17 January 2014.

The Delhi Police had on 14 May accused Tharoor of abetting Pushkar’s suicide and told the court that he should be summoned as an accused in the four-and-half-year-old case, claiming there was sufficient evidence against him.

In the nearly 3,000-page charge sheet, the police named Tharoor as the only accused while also alleging that he had subjected his wife to cruelty. It had also urged the court to summon Tharoor as an accused. The couple’s domestic servant, Narayan Singh, has been named one of the key witnesses in the case.

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.

Under Section 498A, the maximum punishment is up to three years of imprisonment, while jail term up to 10 years is prescribed under Section 306.

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