NEW DELHI — Delhi Police May 14 filed a chargesheet in a court in Sunanda Pushkar's suicide case, accusing her husband and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor of abetment to suicide, a charge he dubbed "preposterous" and his party called "baseless."
The chargesheet was filed in Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh’s court here. It mentions that Pushkar’s body bore "scuffle marks" when it was discovered in a luxury hotel room in New Delhi Jan. 17, 2014.
"These 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."
Tharoor has been charged under Sections 306 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code – abetment to suicide and subjecting a woman to cruelty by her husband or his relative, respectively – charges that carry a jail term of up to 10 years.
Delhi Police Chief Spokesperson Deependra Pathak said the chargesheet was filed on the basis of medico-legal and forensic evidence analyzed during the investigation, as well as expert opinions regarding Pushkar's death, which was investigated by a South District police Special Investigation Team.
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."
Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said that the "corrupt" police destroyed all case witnesses and documents during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance rule.
"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 May 24.
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 the Delhi Police May 14 was for abetment of suicide.
Surjewala called the charges "baseless" and said they were part of a conspiracy by BJP leaders who have "hounded, prosecuted and maligned" Tharoor.
He said the BJP continued to leak unfounded evidence so that the 18-month media trial against Tharoor could continue.
The Congress leader questioned the police investigation, asking how the death could be called a suicide when there was no suicide note nor any witnesses.
"We will not be cowed down, we will not bow. We have full faith in the justice system," he added.
The chargesheet said Pushkar’s brothers and son 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.
There was no evidence of murder, however, Pushkar may have been driven to suicide as she had not eaten or even left her room in the days before her death, according to the chargesheet.
Tharoor defended himself on Twitter saying he had taken note of the filing of this "preposterous chargesheet," adding that he intends to "contest it vigorously."
"No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever commit suicide, let alone abetment on my part."
He said that if, after four-plus years of investigation, this was the conclusion, it "does not speak well of the methods or motivations of Delhi Police."
Tharoor noted that in October 2017 a law officer made a statement in the Delhi High Court that the police had not found anything against anyone "and now in six months they say that I have abetted a suicide."