The Patiala House court will pronounce the verdict in Sunanda Pushkar’s death case on Monday, December 24. The court was expected to give its verdict on the application of Subramanian Swamy seeking to conduct the prosecution in the case against the former union minister and Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor who is accused of abetment to suicide of his wife.
Swamy had sought to assist the court and to bring on record the Delhi Police’s Vigilance Report on tampering of evidence in the case for framing of additional charges. Earlier in the case, the court had directed Delhi Police to hand over certain documents to Tharoor. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal passed the directions after he was told by senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Tharoor, that there were discrepancies in certain electronic evidence, provided by the prosecution. He told the court that some of the documents mentioned in the list of evidence were either not received by him or failed to open. Last Tuesday, the court had adjourned hearing till December 20 for further compliance under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which pertains to providing the accused with a copy of police report and other documents.
Tharoor has been charged under sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) of the IPC, but has not been arrested in the case. Under 498A, the maximum punishment is up to three years of imprisonment, while jail term up to 10 years is prescribed under Section 306.
This year the court summoned Tharoor, observing there was sufficient ground to proceed against him. The court had asked him to appear before it on July 7, following which he was granted regular bail.
Soon after this, Tharoor had issued a statement which said, “I find the charges preposterous and baseless, the product of malicious and vindictive campaign against myself.”
Tharoor was a junior minister in the Manmohan Singh government when on the night of January 17, 2014, his wife Sunanda was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the national capital. She checked into the hotel after returning from Kerala as Tharoor’s official residence was being renovated.
—India Legal Bureau