Delhi court rejects Sashi Tharoor’s plea in Sunanda Pushkar death case

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In a major setback to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, today Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court dismissed his plea to incorporate the tweets of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in the case related to her mysterious death. Tharoor’s lawyer had sought that the tweets Sunanda had tweeted just before her demise should be made part of the charge sheet in the case.

Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar dismissed the application saying that “at the stage of (framing of) charge such a roving inquiry by the court is not expected”.

Tharoor’s counsel had pressed for a psychological evaluation of Sunandan Pushkar to clear him of charges of abetment of suicide and domestic violence for which he’s facing prosecution before the trial court.

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Vikas Pahwa, a senior advocate appearing for Shashi Tharoor, had moved an application before the court under section 91 of CrPC stating that the prosecution has not provided all the necessary documents before the court and asked the court to direct the prosecution to provide the data inferred from the twitter handle of Sunanda Pushkar.

The application of Tharoor further said that there had been numerous exchange of the letter between the US Department of Justice and Home Ministry wherein the latter has requested for the retrieval of data. He claimed that since the prosecution has data and that data is crucial to the case, the application should be allowed.

Read- When Twitter ‘murdered’ Sunanda Pushkar

Vikas Pahwa had told the court that “the documents/tweets are of sterling quality and need perusal by the court as they will assist the court in framing the charge or discharge the accused.”

Tharoor’s lawyer had said that the tweets clearly indicate that the deceased was not having any ”suicidal ideation” as is sought to be alleged by the prosecution. “Rather, the deceased was in a positive frame of mind and was quite optimistic about her relationship with the applicant (Tharoor). Despite such overwhelming material, the police has sought to conclude that the deceased allegedly committed suicide due to her differences with the applicant,” he had said.

The public prosecutor in the Sunanda Pushkar murder case, Atul Srivastava, had objected to the application affirming that an accused cannot move such application as the court itself gives direction to the prosecution to supply additional documents if required in the interest of justice. Pahwa countered by mentioning a judgement, that in case, the evidence is of sterling quality, the court upon satisfaction could allow it to be added in the evidence.

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in mysterious circumstances in The Leela Palace Hotel, Delhi on January 17, 2014. The trial against Tharoor had begun on February 21, 2019. Recently, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had alleged that Delhi police had tampered with the evidence in the case.

Shashi Tharoor was charged for the abetment of suicide according to a 3,000-page charge sheet filed by the Delhi police in the case. The case was transferred from the Magistrate’s court to the sessions court by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal for fast track hearing on February 4, 2019.

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