Shashi Tharoor called the chargesheet ‘preposterous’ and asserted he intends to contest it “vigorously”. (Express photo by Ravi Kanojia/File)
The Delhi police on Monday filed its chargesheet in the Sunanda Pushkar death case, charging her husband and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor of abetting her suicide. In its 3,000-page chargesheet, filed after over four years of Pushkar’s death, the police has also alleged that Tharoor had subjected his wife to cruelty.
The Congress leader has been charged under sections 498 A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code(IPC). While section 498 A entails maximum punishment of 3 years in prison, the section 306 attracts a maximum jail term of 10 years.
Tharoor, however, called the chargesheet ‘preposterous’ and asserted he intends to contest it “vigorously”. His party stood by the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram and a former international civil servant, alleging it is a “conspiracy” by the Modi government to defame him.
“I have taken note of the filing of this preposterous charge sheet &intend to contest it vigorously. No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part. If this is conclusion arrived at after 4+ yrs of investigation it does not speak well of the methods or motivations of the Delhi Police. In oct 17, the Law Officer made a statement in the Delhi High Court that they have not found anything against anyone & now in 6 months they say that I have abetted a suicide. unbelievable!” tweeted Tharoor.
Later in the day, Tharoor also tweeted that he will stay away from social media for a few days. “Staying off @Twitter for a while — one encounters too much epicaricacy!,” tweeted Tharoor while explaining the meaning of epicaricacy.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 14, 2018
Talking to media, AICC spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the charge sheet was a conspiracy to defame and malign Tharoor. “We won’t cow down or bow down,” he said, alleging, “This is a conspiracy to defame Shashi Tharoor and malign him and the Modi government is using Delhi police.”
“We reject the charges totally… Where is the charge coming from?….It is coming from the BJP headquarters..it is coming from the factory of lies.”
Also Read | Sunanda Pushkar death case: A timeline of events
The charge sheet in the mysterious death of Pushkar was filed before Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmendra Singh, who will consider it on May 24. The agency while asking the court to take cognisance of the charge sheet said there was enough evidence to proceed against Tharoor. It urged the court to summon Tharoor as an accused.
The couple’s domestic servant Narayan Singh is one of the key witnesses in the case.
The charge sheet that includes several annexures noted that Pushkar died within four years of her marriage. The couple had entered into wedlock on August 22, 2010. It was the third marriage for both Tharoor and Pushkar. Pushkar, 51,was found dead in a suite in Hotel Leela, a luxury hotel in Chankayapuri, on the night of January 17, 2014.
According to prosecution sources, the charge sheet has mentioned that Pushkar was allegedly subjected to mental as well as physical cruelty.
After all the possible and material evidence collected and verified, it was felt that his custodial interrogation would not be required in the case at this stage, the charge sheet, which contains several medical reports, said.
Tharoor has not been arrested in the case as he had joined the investigation when required.
(With PTI inputs)