A Delhi court on Tuesday admitted abetment to suicide charges against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor over the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014. The court said that there was "sufficient grounds to proceed" against the politician.
Taking cognisance of the Delhi Police chargesheet, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal asked Tharoor to appear before him on July 7.
"I have gone through and perused the chargesheet along with the documents filed along with it. Cognisance taken on offence regarding abetment to suicide of late Sunanda Pushkar and for committing cruelty upon her. On the basis of the police report, I take cognisance abetment of suicide punishable under 306 IPC and cruelty under 498A IPC. There exists sufficient grounds to proceed against Shashi Tharoor for commission of offence," Vishal said.
The magistrate also issued notice to the prosecution for a written reply on BJP MP Subramanian Swamy's application.
The cause of Sunanda Pushkar's death was poisoning. A total of 27 tablets of Alprax were found in her room but it was not clear how many she had consumed.
On May 14, police chargesheeted Tharoor under sections 306 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code, pertaining to abetment to suicide and cruelty to wife, which entails a jail term that could extend up to 10 years.
Pushkar, 51, was found dead in a hotel suite here on January 17, 2014, days after she alleged that her husband was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.
In July last year, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a PIL seeking a time-bound court-monitored probe in the case. Swamy said that "very influential people are involved in the case, leading to attempts to protect them, and the matter has faced a lot of unnecessary delay already."
Swamy also told the court that there were constant attempts to block the investigations and an FIR was registered after almost a year and nothing had happened since. Even after years, the Delhi Police had not arrested anyone and no custodial interrogation took place, Swamy had said, adding that the post-mortem examination report confirmed Sunandaâ€™s death was "unnatural" and "due to poison."
On the basis of this PIL, in August, the Delhi High Court had questioned the city police over the delay in probing the death. A division bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice Chander Shekhar expressed concern that though the Delhi Police had collected evidence in February 2015, the court was yet to get the final result of the electronic evidence seized, including that of the close friends of Tharoor and Pushkar.