Sunanda Pushkar death: Tharoor moves court for anticipatory bail

Jul 03, 2018, 15:57 IST | PTI

The politician's plea was filed before Special Judge Arvind Kumar who sought Delhi Police's response and kept it for hearing on Wednesday

Sunanda Pushkar death: Tharoor moves court for anticipatory bail

Shashi Tharoor moved a Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail in the case related to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar on Tuesday. Tharoor has already been summoned as an accused in the case. The politician's plea was filed before Special Judge Arvind Kumar who sought Delhi Police's response and kept it for hearing on Wednesday. Tharoor was earlier summoned as an accused by a magisterial court for the alleged offences of abetment of suicide and committing cruelty towards Pushkar.

In his plea filed through advocate Vikas Pahwa, Tharoor said the charge sheet has been filed without arrest and the SIT (special investigation team) has categorically stated that investigation has been concluded and no custodial interrogation is required. "The law is very clear that if the charge sheet is filed without arrest the bail is inevitable. We have only requested for protection so that we appear in the court on July 7," Pahwa said. The matter will be heard tomorrow at 10 am as the prosecutor was not present in court today, he said. On June 5, a court summoned Tharoor as accused, asking him to appear before it on July 7 and saying there were sufficient grounds to proceed against him.

Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel room on the night of January 17, 2014. Tharoor 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. After a magisterial court had taken cognisance of the offences against Tharoor, his counsel had termed the prosecution's case "absurd and preposterous". On May 14, Delhi Police accused Tharoor, Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram, of abetting Pushkar's suicide and told a city court that he should be summoned as an accused in the four-and-half year-old case, claiming there was sufficient evidence against him.

In a nearly 3,000-page charge sheet, police named Tharoor as the only accused while also alleging that he had subjected his wife to cruelty. The couple's domestic servant, Narayan Singh, has been named one of the key witnesses in the case. Under Section 498A, the maximum punishment is up to three years of imprisonment, while jail term up to 10 years is prescribed under Section 306. An FIR was registered by Delhi Police on January 1, 2015 against unknown persons under IPC section 302 (murder). According to prosecution sources, the charge sheet mentions that Pushkar was allegedly subjected to mental as well as physical cruelty. Tharoor has not been arrested in the case. On July 7, the court is also likely to hear BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's application seeking its nod to allow him to assist the prosecution in the case and a direction to the police to produce the report of a vigilance inquiry conducted earlier in the matter.

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