India’s Shashi Tharoor charged for instigating wife’s suicide

IANS . New Delhi | Update:

In this photograph taken on 12 March 2012, ex-junior minister for external affairs and Congress Party`s Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor (R) with his wife Sunanda Pushkar arrive at parliament for the opening of the budget session in New Delhi. Delhi police on 14 May charged a former high-flying UN diplomat and a popular opposition figure with abetting his wife`s suicide four years ago in a case that riveted the country. AFPIn a blow to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Delhi police on Monday charged the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha member with abetting his wife Sunanda Pushkars suicide in 2014.

The chargesheet that Tharoor called “preposterous” was filed in the court of metropolitan magistrate Dharmender Singh in New Delhi.

It mentions that the body of Pushkar bore “scuffle marks” when it was found in a luxury hotel room in New Delhi on 17 January 2014.

“These (the marks) seem to have been caused due to scuffle between Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor and her husband Shashi Tharoor as per the statement of their personal attendant Narain Singh. However, this fact is being examined further.”

The chargesheet also says that the brothers and the son of Pushkar have made “no allegations against anyone”.

Pushkar, 51, was found dead in her suite at Leela Hotel in south Delhi, days after she alleged that her husband was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.

The police have said there was no evidence of murder in Pushkar’s death but she may have been driven to suicide as she had not been eating or even leaving her room days before her death, according to the chargesheet.

The 62-year-old Congress leader took to Twitter in his defence, saying he had “taken note of the filing of this preposterous chargesheet”.

He said he intended “to contest it vigorously”.

“No one, who knew Sunanda, believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part.”

He said if that was the “conclusion arrived at after four plus years of investigation” then it “does not speak well of the methods or motivations of Delhi police”.

“In October 2017, Tharoor said, the law officer made a statement in the Delhi High Court that they have not found anything against anyone and now in six months they say that I have abetted a suicide. Unbelievable!”

Tharoor, according to sources, has been charged under section 306 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) - pertaining to abetment to suicide and cruelty to wife which entails a jail term that may extend to 10 years.

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