Sunanda Pushkar death: Shashi Tharoor granted bail amid high drama in Delhi's Patiala House Court

Delhi's Patiala House Court granted Shashi Tharoor bail in the case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death after he furnished a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh.

FP Staff July 07, 2018 10:43:31 IST
Sunanda Pushkar death: Shashi Tharoor granted bail amid high drama in Delhi's Patiala House Court

Delhi's Patiala House Court on Saturday granted bail to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in the case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death nearly four years ago in a luxury hotel in the city.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP, who was charged with abetting suicide and cruelty, was given anticipatory bail on Thursday. The judge converted it to a regular bail on Saturday after Tharoor furnished a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh, reports said.

Tharoor was summoned on 5 June to appear before the court on Saturday as an accused in the case, after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case filed a 3,000-page chargesheet. The court had observed that there was sufficient grounds to proceed against him.

There was high drama in the Patiala House Court on Saturday, reports said. According to ANI, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had sought the court's approval to assist the prosecution in the case, but both the public prosecutor and Tharoor's counsel opposed this. Swamy had also appealed to the court to direct the police to produce the report of the vigilance inquiry conducted in the case earlier.

Speaking to reporters outside the Patial House Court on Saturday, Swamy alleged that the police tampered with the evidence.

The court will scrutinise all documents related to the case on 26 July, according to TimesNow.

Sunanda Pushkar death Shashi Tharoor granted bail amid high drama in Delhis Patiala House Court

File image of senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. AFP

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of the Leela Palace hotel in New Delhi on the night of 17 January, 2014. The couple was staying at the hotel as Tharoor's official bungalow was under renovation then.

Tharoor has been charged under sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code but has not been arrested in the case.

In his plea for anticipatory bail filed on Tuesday, Tharoor had submitted that the chargesheet in the case had been filed, that the SIT had categorically stated that the investigation had been concluded, and that his custodial interrogation was not required.

While hearing the bail on Thursday, the court observed that the prosecution's apprehensions that Tharoor may flee the country or influence witnesses were "without any basis". Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted him relief and asked him to furnish a personal bond and a surety of Rs 1 lakh each while imposing certain conditions, including that he would not tamper with the evidence or leave the country without the court's permission.

It noted that Tharoor, who has not been arrested by the investigative agency, has joined the inquiry as and when called by the police. It also observed that the police had not, at any point of time, alleged that Tharoor had tried to flee from justice or shift base to another country.

In a seven-page order, the court also noted that Tharoor was a sitting member of Lok Sabha and used to be the Minister of State for External Affairs in the UPA regime.

The court said: "It is not the case of the prosecution that the accused, at any point of time, tried to influence any witness, although some of the witnesses were his domestic servants... Certainly, he has joined the probe as and when called. There is no allegation that he has not cooperated with the investigating agency during the probe."

"The accused was not arrested, although the case was registered on 1 January, 2015, and more than three and a half years have already passed. The prosecution has failed to cite even a single instance when the accused has made any such attempt," the court said.

With inputs from PTI

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