Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Shashi Tharoor cleared of all charges in Sunanda case

  • It was absolute torture for seven and half years, says Tharoor
  • Says, “My faith in Indian judiciary stands vindicated”
  • ‘Weathered malicious and vindictive campaign’

New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was discharged on Wednesday by a Sessions Court in Delhi in the case of death of his late wife Sunanda Pushkar. Sunanda, 51,  was found dead in a luxury hotel room on the night of 17 January 2014 where she and her husband Tharoor were staying. Tharoor’s official bungalow was being renovated at that time. The postmortem report said there were drugs in Sunanda’s system. The police ruled out murder, though there were rumours to that effect, and concluded that it was a case of suicide.  The police, however, charge-sheeted Shashi Tharoor accusing of offences under Section 498 A (marital cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. The Triruvananthapuram MP was granted bail on 5 July 2018. A Sessions Court in Delhi had reserved its order on 12 April 2021 on framing charges against him.

Wednesday’s order was passed by Session Court’s Judge Geetanjali Goel. The court refused to frame charges against Tharoor. The former union minister was cleared of all the charges.  Shashi Tharoor, 65,  said, “Most grateful, your honour. It has been seven-and-half years of absolute torture. I really appreciate it.” The congress MP in a statement said, “This brings a significant conclusion to the long nightmare which had enveloped me after the tragic passing of my late wife Sunanda. I have weathered dozens of unfounded accusations and media vilification patiently, sustained by my faith in the Indian judiciary, which today stands vindicated.”

Shashi Tharoor carrying the body of his wife Sunanda Pushkar

The evidence showed that Sunanda’s death was on account of neither suicide nor homicide. The death should be considered an accident as she was struggling with various medical ailments at the time of her death. A special investigation team also exonerated the MP earlier.  No witness made any allegations of dowry, harassment or cruelty against Tharoor, his lawyer Vikas Pahwa argued in the court. Tharoor in the last seven years called the charges against him “preposterous and baseless and a product of malicious and vindictive campaign.”

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor


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