Home / Politics / Policy /  Shashi Tharoor summoned by Delhi court in Sunanda Pushkar death case

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday took cognizance of the chargesheet against member of Parliament (MP) from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor in the case relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014 under mysterious circumstances.

Tharoor has been summoned by the court to appear on 7 July, when it will next hear the matter.

The court said that there were sufficient grounds to proceed against Tharoor, who has been named as an accused for abetment to suicide and cruelty in the chargesheet by the Delhi police.

As the next step, Tharoor is likely to approach the court seeking bail. If bail is granted, he will have to contest the charges against him in court. He will face trial if the court finds a prima facie case to be made against him, else not.

The Delhi police filed a chargesheet running into nearly 3,000-pages in the Patiala House Court, on 14 May, four years after Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in her room at Delhi’s Leela Palace on 17 January 2014.

The chargesheet named Tharoor as an accused in the case and charged him under section 306 (abetment to suicide) and section 498A (cruelty in marriage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860. It also urged the court to summon Tharoor as an accused.

The maximum punishment under section 498A is three years of imprisonment, while under section 306 it is a jail term of 10 years.

“I would like to point out, from the very start, I have fully cooperated with the investigating team and continue to maintain that due legal process must be followed in all aspects of the case," said Tharoor in a statement. “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 steadfast conviction that ultimately the truth will prevail through the judicial system."

An appeal by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy against the dismissal of a probe to investigate the alleged murder of Sunanda Pushkar is pending in the Supreme Court.

On 26 October, the Delhi high court had dismissed Swamy’s plea on grounds that it was perhaps a textbook example of political interest litigation being dressed up as a public interest litigation.

Swamy had moved Delhi High Court in July last year seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)-monitored SIT (Special Investigation Team) investigation into the alleged murder of Sunanda Pushkar.

The petition had alleged that Tharoor, along with fellow Congress leader and former Union health minister and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, tried to “mislead" the investigators, and pressurise the head of the forensic department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to give a favourable autopsy report.

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