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'Sunanda Puskar couldn't have died by suicide': Tharoor claims before Delhi court

Tharoor, represented by senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, said there cannot be abetment when she didn't die of suicide and sought discharge in the case.

Published: 26th March 2021 08:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2021 08:51 PM   |  A+A-

The late Sunanda Pushkar along with husband and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. (File Photo)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor claimed before a Delhi court on Friday that the family and friends of his wife Sunanda Puskar have maintained that she couldn't have died by suicide.

Tharoor, represented by senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, said there cannot be abetment when she didn't die of suicide and sought discharge in the case.

The submissions were made before Special Judge Geetanjli Goel during arguments on framing of charges in the case.

"Her relatives and son say she was a strong woman and couldn't have died by suicide. How can there be a question of abetment when she didn't die by suicide," Pahwa said.

He further said the prosecution have failed to prove suicide.

The court put up the matter for further hearing on April 9.

He had earlier said post mortem and other medical reports have allegedly established that it was neither a suicide nor homicide.

The senior lawyer had further said not even a single witness has made any allegations of dowry, harassment or cruelty against him.

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014.

The couple was staying in the hotel, as the official bungalow of Tharoor was being renovated at that time.

Pahwa had said there was no evidence against Tharoor to prove the offence punishable under either section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) or 306 (abetment of suicide) of Indian Penal Code.

Pahwa had said her death should be treated as accidental.

He had also said that during the course of the investigation there have been a plethora of reports by experts before the investigating officer (IO) but there was 'no definite opinion on the cause of death'.

He had added that even after years of investigation by the police, the prosecution has failed to conclusively identify the cause of death.

Pahwa had further submitted before the court that Pushkar was grappling with various medical ailments at the time of her death.

"The Investigating Officer erroneously formed an opinion vis-a-vis the commission of an offence. However, reports and other material relied upon in fact exonerates Tharoor from all charges," he said.

"The opinion of the Autopsy Board took into consideration circumstantial evidence beyond the four corners of the autopsy room which is not permissible.

"The Board has failed to substantiate their opinion during the course of the investigation due to which the IO decided to move onto seeking opinion from another Medical Board," Pahwa told the court.

Tharoor has been charged under sections 498A and 306 of the IPC, but was not arrested in the case.

He was granted bail on July 5, 2018.



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