‘No instigation, no cruelty by Shashi Tharoor’ | India News

NEW DELHI: There is nothing, even prima facie, to suggest that there was any wilful conduct on the part of Shashi Tharoor that was likely to drive his wife, Sunanda Pushkar, to suicide or to cause injury or danger to life, limb or health. Making this observation, a Delhi court has discharged him in the case of death of his wife.
The court said that Pushkar might have felt distressed or mentally disturbed over the alleged extra-marital relation of Tharoor, but mental disturbance does not amount to the offence of abetment.
Special judge Geetanjali Goel discharged him for offences under sections 498-A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of IPC.
The court observed that it cannot be said that suspicion, much less grave suspicion, existed in the present case to charge the accused for the offence under section 302 (murder) of IPC.
“There is nothing on record to show that the accused did some act in order to irritate or annoy the deceased until she reacted or strongly persuaded or advised the deceased to do some act with the intention to provoke, incite, urge or encourage the latter to commit suicide,” the court said in its order.
Pushkar was found dead in a room of a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17, 2014. An FIR had been registered by the police on January 1, 2015, against unknown persons for murder. Tharoor was later booked for subjecting a woman to cruelty and abetment to suicide.
The court said there was nothing to show prima facie that the accused had subjected Pushkar to physical cruelty. It pointed out that none of the reports, either of the doctors or of the psychological autopsy board, had confirmed that the death was a suicide.
It said that even if it was assumed that the death was a suicide, there was no material whatsoever against Tharoor, much less any positive act, to instigate or aid his wife in committing suicide.
The court said the chargesheet appeared to have been filed in the hope that the court would find some material to proceed with the trial against the accused, but criminal trials require evidence.
“No doubt a precious life was lost. But in the absence of specific allegations and sufficient material to make out the ingredients of the various offences and on the basis of which the court could, at this stage, presume that the accused had committed the offence, the accused cannot be compelled to face the rigmaroles of a criminal trial,” it observed.
It noted that though the public prosecutor, appearing for the police, had referred to the accused leaving the deceased at the airport, not calling a doctor and not paying attention to her, the same cannot be described as having been done with the intention to goad her or instigate her to commit suicide.
“While it may be reiterated that the statements of the witnesses show that the deceased was agitated, distressed, felt betrayed and cheated due to the alleged affair of the accused, the prosecution has not brought anything on record to show that the accused had provoked, incited or induced the deceased to commit suicide. There is nothing to demonstrate any overt act on the part of the accused, and only on the ground that he continued the alleged affair (even if it is assumed) and exchanged messages with her, it cannot be presumed that he had abetted the commission of suicide by the deceased,” it said.
The prosecution had examined 97 witnesses in the case.

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