A special court in Delhi on Wednesday cleared Congress leader Shashi Tharoor of all charges in the case pertaining to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The court discharged the case, which means that judge Geetanjali Goel did not find any sufficient grounds to frame charges against Tharoor.
On January 17, 2014, Tharoor's wife Pushkar was found dead in the luxury suite of a hotel in the national capital. The Delhi Police was initially investigating the case as a murder but it later charged Tharoor for abetting her alleged suicide and cruelty.
"It's been seven-and-half years of absolute torture. I really appreciate it," Tharoor told the judge thanking her for the order. "This brings a significant conclusion to a long nightmare," Tharoor tweeted in a statement issued minutes later.
Extramarital affair figment of imagination: Shashi Tharoor
Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa had argued that there was no truth in the allegations made against his client's extramarital affair and it was only a "figment of imagination". The prosecution had not alleged any mental or physical torture as well, Pahwa added. Supreme Court judgments had further ruled that extramarital affairs do not constitute cruelty under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, Pahwa argued.
Numerous medical, forensic, and psychological reports by renowned doctors had further opined that the death was accidental ruling out homicide or by suicide.
Pushkar was mentally abused by Tharoor by neglect: Delhi Police
Arguing the case for Delhi Police, Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava said Pushkar had sustained several injuries on her body prior to her death. Pushkar had died by poisoning and 27 tablets of Alprax were recovered from the room where she was found. However, it is unclear as to how many pills she may have consumed, Shrivastava had argued.
The prosecution contended Pushkar was subjected to mental cruelty on account of the controversies surrounding her husband's alleged extra-marital relationship. Referring to a purported conversation between the couple, Shrivastava alleged that Tharoor "mentally abused" his wife "through neglect".
On charges of murder, the prosecution said medical experts had not ruled out the possibility of drugs being injected.
Also Read: The Top 10 Murder Cases In India
Timeline of events in the Sunanda Pushkar Case:
January 16, 2014: Sunanda Pushkar gets in a Twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over her alleged affair with husband Shashi Tharoor.
January 17, 2014: Pushkar is found dead in a luxury suite in New Delhi.
January 21, 2014: Sub-Divisional Magistrate heading the inquest rules Pushkar died of poisoning.
January 23, 2014: Probe transferred to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police. Traces of two medicines – Alprazolam, an anti-depressant and Excedrin, a painkiller – found in Pushkar's body.
January 25, 2014: Case transferred back to the Delhi Police.
July 2014: Dr Sudhir Gupta, AIIMS who was leading the panel that conducted Pushkar's post-mortem claims pressure to alter report.
January 2015: BS Bassi, Delhi Police Commissioner at the time, concluded Pushkar's death was caused by murder and that she did not die by suicide. An FIR against unknown persons is registered.
February 2016: Special Investigation Team of Delhi Police questions Tharoor where he submits Pushkar died of a drug overdose.
July 2017: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy moves Delhi High Court seeking an Special Investigations Team (SIT) probe into Pushkar's death.
October 2017: Delhi HC dismisses the plea observing that Swamy's PIL is a textbook example of a 'political interest litigation'.
January 2018: Swamy moves Supreme Court seeking an SIT probe further alleging that there was a one-year delay by the Delhi Police in lodging an FIR in the case.
February 2018: SC issues notice n Swamy's plea and seeks a reply from the Delhi Police.
April 2018: Delhi Police says that after conducting a "thorough professional and scientific investigations" the draft of the final report is ready.
May 2018: Delhi Police files a chargesheet in the case.
May 2018: The case is transferred to a court designated to try politicians.
June 2018: Court summons Tharoor as an accused in and rules that there are sufficient grounds to proceed.
August 18, 2021: Delhi court gives clears Tharoor of all charges.
Updated On: 2021-08-18T13:02:18+05:30