Shashi Tharoor's counsel called the push to press murder charges as "absurd" and "preposterous".

Sunanda Pushkar case Delhi Police presses for murder charge against Shashi Tharoor
news Crime Sunday, September 01, 2019 - 08:59

The Delhi police on Saturday pressed for murder charges to be framed against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in the case of his wife’s Sunanda Pushkar’s death. 

“Please frame sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty), 306 (abetment of suicide) or in alternative 302 (murder) IPC against the accused (Tharoor),” Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava reportedly said in court on Saturday 

Public Prosecutor Atul told the court that according to the forensic analysis of statements, Sunanda was distressed, felt betrayed in marital life, hadn't eaten for the last few days and had self-injurious conduct along with suicidal ideation prior to death because of the disturbed relations with Tharoor.

He added that doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) stated that the "cause of death to the best of my knowledge is poisoning, which was ultrazole poisoning. All the injuries were caused by blunt force, during a scuffle, except one injection and a teeth mark."

Citing a Supreme Court judgment, the prosecution said, "Even mental torture may amount to cruelty." "This was the third marriage of both the parties. The mental torture has led her to the suicide," he said.

Tharoor and Pakistani journalist Meher Tarar spent time together in Dubai, the prosecution told the Delhi court, citing the statement of Sunanda Pushkar's journalist friend.

Atul Srivastava read out the statement of journalist Nalini Singh, who was the friend of the deceased in court. The statement said: "I knew Sunanda for 3-4 years. For last one year she started sharing about her personal life. She shared her relationship with Tharoor and told me that Tharoor and Tarar had been together. 

"I got a call from her phone a day before her death, she was weeping that Tharoor and Tarar shared romantic messages. The message read that Tharoor would divorce Sunanda after the general elections. His family was also supportive of this decision," the statement said.

Narayan Singh, Tharoor's domestic help, had said, "I work at Tharoor's house. Sir and madam had a fight. Madam was with her friend Sanjay. After coming back from Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) they had a fight. Even in Dubai, they fought over a girl named Catie. They both fought till 4 a.m. Sunanda was on a call till 5.30 a.m. 

"Madam was angry that Tharoor allegedly told Mehr everything about her earlier husband. She started tweeting from Sunil sir's phone. I immediately called up Tharoor sir,” he said. 

Reacting to the push to press murder charges in the case, Tharoor's counsel said it was "absurd" and "preposterous". "The prosecutor's arguments are contrary to the bare reading of the charge sheet. The charges pressed are absurd and preposterous," said senior advocate Vikas Pahwa. 

The prosecutor read the evidence in bits and pieces and tried to connect with the charges proposed by him, contrary to the settled principles of law, he said. He didn't read the opinion of experts who conducted the psychological autopsy, Pahwa said and added, they categorically held it's neither a case of homicide nor suicide, but due to some unidentified biological reasons. "If there is no evidence of suicide, where is the question of abetment to suicide," Pahwa said.

With IANS inputs

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