Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 01 August 2021 6.11 AM IST

'Tharoor had spent 3 nights with Mehr Tarar, Sunanda died just before holding press conference', Prosecution demands to try Tharoor on murder charge


NEW DELHI: In a recent development, the Delhi Police urged a city court to prosecute Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for abetment to suicide or "in alternative" on murder charge in the case of death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014.

"Please frame sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty), 306 (abetment of suicide) or in alternative 302 (murder) IPC against the accused (Shashi Tharoor)," the probe agency told special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar. Senior public prosecutor Atul Srivastava made the submissions during arguments on framing of charges in the case. The former Union minister, Shashi Tharoor, who is currently on bail in the case, was charged by Delhi Police under Sections 498-A and 306 of the Indian Penal Code.

Reading out a statement of the couple's domestics help, who is one of the witnesses in the case, the prosecutor said that the couple had a fight over a girl named Katy and some Blackberry messages. The prosecutor said that before her death, Sunanda Pushkar wanted to address a press conference on the IPL issue and had said, "I will not leave him [Shashi Tharoor]." The witness had told police that one year prior to the demise, the couple used to fight a lot. The agency told the court that Sunanda Pushkar was distressed and felt betrayed in her marital life.

The prosecutor further told the court that Shashi Tharoor's relation with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar also added to Sunanda Pushkar's mental agony. The prosecutor also apprised the court about Sunanda Pushkar's friend and journalist Nalini Singh's statement, which is part of the charge sheet, that the relation between the couple was tense and bad. "She [Sunanda Pushkar] told she helped Shashi Tharoor a lot in IPL matter. She had found some messages between Tarar and Tharoor. She even found out that Tharoor had spent 3 nights with Tarar sometime before. She refused to go to their house and instead went to the Leela hotel. The relation between the couple was very bad," Singh had said in her statement.

Police told the court that Sunanda Pushkar was suffering from mental agony due to a strained relationship with her husband. She had a scuffle with her husband and had various injury marks a few days before her death, they said. Police accused Shashi Tharoor of torturing his wife which abetted her to commit suicide. The probe agency told the court that according to the post-mortem report, the cause of Sunanda Pushkar's death was poisoning and 15 injury marks were found on various parts of her body, including in forearm, arms and legs. Meanwhile, Sunanda's brother Ashish Das has told the court that he does not believe that his sister's death was a suicide.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Shashi Tharoor, refuted the submissions, saying that the arguments made by the prosecutor were contrary to the bare reading of the charge sheet and the charges pressed by him were "absurd and preposterous". The case is now listed for the next hearing on October 17.

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