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Shashi Tharoor, summoned by court in Sunanda Pushkar case, calls charges ‘preposterous, baseless’

Taking cognizance of the chargesheet in the Sunanda Pushkar death case, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said there exists sufficient grounds to proceed against Sashi Tharoor .”

india Updated: Jun 05, 2018 23:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shashi Tharoor,Sunanda Pushkar murder case,Sunanda Pushkar death
Sunanda Pushkar death case: Shashi Tharoor with his late wife Pushkar in 2010 during a friendly cricket match in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

A Delhi court on Tuesday took cognisance of the abetment to suicide charges against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in the case of the death of entrepreneur Sunanda Pushkar, who was also Tharoor’s wife. Tharoor has been summoned to appear before the court on July 7.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samal Vishal admitted the charges, saying there are “sufficient grounds to proceed” against Tharoor. “I have heard the prosecutor. I have gone through and perused the charge sheet and the documents filed along with it. On the basis of police report (charge sheet), I take cognisance of offence of abetment of suicide of late Sunanda Pushkar and committing cruelty upon her by Dr Shashi Tharoor,” he said.

On May 14, police filed a 3,000-paged chargesheet against Tharoor, 62, under sections of abetment to suicide and cruelty. The two offences entail a jail term, which could extend to 10 years.

Pushkar was found dead in the suite of a south Delhi luxury hotel on January 14, 2014.

Pushkar and Tharoor got married in 2010. For both, it was the third marriage.

In their charge sheet, the special investigation team said Pushkar,51, overdosed on a combination of antidepressant tablets, which led to her death. Police claimed Pushkar and Tharoor’s relationship had been strained and cited Tharoor’s alleged extramarital affairs as one reason for Pushkar’s depression, which drove her to commit suicide.

The couple’s domestic help, Narayan Singh, has been made a key witness. Singh has reportedly claimed the couple had been fighting in the days leading up to Pushkar’s death. According to Singh’s statement, he was an eyewitness to one fight that turned violent.

Tharoor released an official statement in which he acknowledged the court’s summons and said, “ I would like to point out that, from the very start, I have fully cooperated with the investigating team and will continue to maintain that due legal process must be followed in all aspects related to this case. 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 my steadfast conviction that ultimately the truth will prevail through the judicial system that we privileged to have in our country.”

Chief spokesperson for Delhi Police, Depender Pathak said, “We will defend the case in the court and do a proper follow-up of the court proceedings.”

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jun 05, 2018 14:37 IST