Sunanda Pushkar death: Shashi Tharoor moves court for anticipatory bail
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, accused of abetting Sunanda Pushkar's suicide, today moved Delhi's Patiala House Court seeking anticipatory bail. Pushkar, Tharoor's wife, was mysteriously found dead in a Delhi hotel in January'14. More than four years later, Delhi Police filed a chargesheet against Tharoor, who has called the allegations "baseless." But he is to appear before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on July 7.
The twists and turns in the case
Throughout the years, there have been several flip-flops in the investigation. Initially, officials suspected suicide. Later reports marked the cause of death as "unnatural." An AIIMS doctor then claimed he was forced to issue a false report. In January 2015, Delhi Police filed an FIR for the 'murder' of Pushkar. In the chargesheet filed this month, Tharoor was mentioned as a 'suspect,' not 'accused.'
Emails, text messages and psychological analysis as evidence
Many evidences emerged during the probe. During raids, they found emails from Pushkar, where she hinted she was feeling cheated and "didn't want to live." A relatively new technique of psychological analysis was conducted on five acquaintances, including Tharoor's help Narain Singh, which established marital-discord. Delhi Police also sought help from Canada's department of justice to retrieve deleted messages from the couple's Blackberry phones.
Chargesheet details physical and emotional torture, police say
The chargesheet mentions Pushkar was "deeply saddened" by Tharoor's flirtatious behavior with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, among others, an officer claimed. The injuries on her body were due to assault by Tharoor the night before she died, it adds. About the flip-flops, an official said this isn't the first time it has happened, but people knew about Pushkar's case since she was a celebrity.
Congress leaders support Tharoor, call it "political move"
Tharoor has called the chargesheet "preposterous" and said that he "intend(s) to contest it vigorously." Many Congress leaders, including Milind Deora, former finance minister P Chidambaram, former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president MM Hassan, have also expressed support, terming it a "political move." Former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan called it "pathetic and malafide."
If convicted, Tharoor could be jailed for upto 10 years
For now, Tharoor has been charged under IPC Sections 498A (husband or relatives subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide). The maximum punishment under Section 498A is three years of imprisonment, and under Section 306, 10 years. "I have fully cooperated with the investigating team and maintain that due legal process must be followed," Tharoor had said in a statement.