The Delhi Police told a court in New Delhi that Sunanda Pushkar, in an email sent to her husband and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, had expressed her desire to die, justifying its charges of abetment to suicide and cruelty against the parliamentarian, a charge he dubbed "preposterous" and his party called "baseless".
Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal that there was sufficient evidence to proceed against Tharoor and requested the court to accept the chargesheet and issue summons to the Lok Sabha member as an accused in the case.
In a depressed email, Sunanda had expressed desire to die, court told
The prosecutor informed the court that Sunanda was depressed and, in an email, written on 8 January, 2014 to Tharoor, she had expressed her desire to die.
"I have no will to live. All I pray for is death," prosecutor Shrivastava read out the relevant line of the email written by Sunanda to Tharoor. He told the court that Pushkar's mail and messages in social media had been taken as dying declaration.
He told the court that the cause of her death was poisoning. Some 27 tablets of Alprax were found in her room but it is not clear how many she had consumed. The prosecutor cited the postmortem report that stated that there were injury marks on her body.
Shrivastava also told the court that Tharoor as a husband ignored Sunanda when she was taking pills to overcome depression. Instead they had frequent fights, the prosecutor said citing witnesses' statement to substantiate allegations levelled against the Congress leader.
The police also disclosed that Tharoor ignored her calls and disconnected them. He told the court the Tharoors married in October 2010. Two days prior to Sunanda's death, heated arguments were exchanged between them on a flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi. The fight continued at the Delhi airport, the police said.
After hearing the submission, the court set 5 June to deliver its order on accepting the charges against Tharoor.
Chargesheet against Tharoor: Marks found on Sunanda's body, cops say could have been caused due to scuffle between her and Tharoor
The chargesheet was filed in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh in Delhi. The chargesheet mentions that the body of Sunanda bore "scuffle marks" when it was found in a luxury hotel room in New Delhi on 17 January, 2014. "These (marks) seem to have been caused due to scuffle between Sunanda and her husband Shashi Tharoor as per the statement of their personal attendant Narain Singh. However, this fact is being examined further." Tharoor has been charged under Sections 306 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code that deal with abetment to suicide and subjecting a woman to cruelty by her husband or his relative respectively, which entail a jail term that may extend up to 10 years.
Delhi Police chief spokesperson Deependra Pathak said that the chargesheet was filed in the case on the basis of medico-legal and forensic evidence analysed during investigation as well as the opinion of experts regarding Sunanda's death, which was investigated by a Special Investigation Team of South District police.
Charge against Tharoor was 'conspiratorial BJP leadership... seeking revenge'
The Congress, however, said that there "could be no more falsehood about this charge except that a conspiratorial BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were seeking revenge against Tharoor by using the Delhi Police which, he said, was a willing tool to subserve BJP's political agenda".
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said that all witnesses and documents in the case were destroyed during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule by the "corrupt" police.
"Under Section 301 CrPC and also via JK International judgment of SC, I am entitled to assist the prosecutor in the Sunanda unnatural death case," he tweeted.
He said he will appear in court on the next date of hearing on 24 May. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala told the media here that top BJP leaders had "conspired against Tharoor" and accused him of murdering his wife while the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police on Monday was for abetment of suicide.
Surjewala dubbed these charges "baseless" and a conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who "hounded, prosecuted and maligned" Tharoor. He said that the BJP continued to leak unfounded evidence so that a media trial going on for a year-and-a-half against Tharoor could continue. The Congress leader questioned the police investigation, saying how could it be called a suicide too when there were no suicide note or witnesses.
"We will not be cowed down, we will not bow. We have full faith in the justice system," he added. The chargesheet says that the brothers and son of Sunanda made "no allegations against anyone".
Sunanda, 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.
There was no evidence of Sunanda's murder 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. Tharoor 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 commit suicide, let alone abetment on my part."
He said if that was the conclusion arrived at after four plus years of investigation it "does not speak well of the methods or motivations of Delhi Police". In October 2017, Tharoor said, a 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!" he remarked.
With inputs from PTI and IANS
Updated Date: May 29, 2018 11:01:30 IST