Former union minister Shashi Tharoor has informed the Kerala high court he had not acquired any assets of his late wife Sunanda Pushkar either individually or jointly with her son or anybody else as her movable and immovable assets are not yet "ascertainable or estimable".
In a statement filed in the court on a petition seeking setting aside of his election to Lok Sabha for alleged non-disclosure of details of properties inherited from his late wife in his poll affidavit, the Congress MP stated it was "absolutely false" that he had inherited the substantial portion of his wife's wealth by virtue of the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act as she was a Canadian citizen.
He said that at the time of filing nomination papers from Thiruvananthapuram, he had not acquired any assets-- movable or immovable of his late wife Sunanda, either individually or jointly with her son or any other relative.
"The movable and immovable assets of late Sunanda are not yet ascertainable or estimable and the right of succession to her estate is still uncertain," he said in the statement filed on a petition from Suresh Kumar.
Tharoor submitted that non statement of details of any of the assets left by Sunanda Pushkar was never with 'malafide intentions' or with a view to suppress them. Details were not mentioned only because she was not alive at the relevant time.
Sunanda was not governed by the Act at the time of her death as "she was neither an Indian citizen nor a person governed by the Hindu Succession Act", Tharoor said, adding his late wife was a Canadian citizen and had shifted to UAE for business purposes and had no properties owned by her in India at the time of her death.
"Sunanda was a permanent resident of State of Ontario. At the time of her death she had properties in Canada and United Arab Emirates (UAE) where she had relocated in connection with her business and had no properties owned by her in India at the time of her death," it was stated.
As far as Sunanda's properties in Canada and UAE are concerned, the succession process has to be initiated through through courts of the respective countries. For that,the debts and other liabilities over the estate of the deceased has to be ascertained first and it had to be adjusted against the estate. Only after which the succession can be determined.
"It is also not known whether all the properties she claimed to be hers in the UAE were all registered in her name. Unless the real properties were registered in her name, no successors or heirs could stake claim to such properties which stood un-registered at the time of the death of the expatriate," it was submitted.