Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s counsel on Wednesday told a court in Delhi that no criminal case was established against him in the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, Live Law reported.
Pushkar was found dead in the suite of a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17, 2014. The police charged Tharoor in May 2018 with abetment to suicide and marital cruelty under Sections 306 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
During Wednesday’s hearing, advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Tharoor, informed Special Judge Geetanjali Goel that there was no conclusive cause of Pushkar’s death. The prosecution has failed to ascertain the reason over the period of four years from 2014 to 2017, he said.
Moreover, Pahwa said three All India Institute Of Medical Sciences board reports and four chemical examination reports over these years also failed to suggest the actual cause of death. “It’s laughable in my view,” he added. “Even suicide is not established.”
He argued that the case filed against Tharoor was nothing but a “figment of imagination” of the investigating officer. “Very often we see chargesheets are filed which are flimsy, somehow trying to get rid of the matter,” the advocate said. “This is one such case. I will demonstrate from paper to paper, from Day 1 that every document in this case comes to closure of the matter. I am innocent.”
Pahwa said the police has not been able to prove the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code invoked in the matter.
“The law on presumption is very clear,” he added. “Even before Section 113A [of the Evidence Act] is invoked, they have to establish the foundational facts of the case. But they feel by invoking Section 306, charges can be framed. They did not prove whether it is a case of suicide or homicide. There is no question of Section 306 here. It comes when at least suicide is established. In this case, it has been established that it is not a suicide. My case is much better than this.”
The Congress leader’s counsel also refuted allegations that Tharoor had an extramarital affair, and sought his discharge in the case.
He said Pushkar’s health condition was already bad before she arrived in Delhi on the day of her death. “In January 2014, she was not a healthy person,” Pahwa said. “A lady who can’t talk, who was on a wheelchair, who had autoimmune disease, they say such a lady is fit.”