Shashi Tharoor, a top Congress lawmaker, was cleared of all charges in the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar by a Delhi court on Wednesday. After the virtual hearing, the verdict was announced.
Tharoor’s lawyer, Vikas Pahwa, requested the discharge order, claiming that there was no evidence that Tharoor was involved in his wife’s death. He also cited Special Investigation conclusions that had already cleared the lawmaker of all accusations.
In her ruling, Special Judge Geetanjli Goel stated that there was “nothing on record” to show that Tharoor acted to irritate or bother Pushkar until she reacted, or that he “strongly persuaded or advised” her to commit suicide.
“There are no instances or illustrations of inciting or helping pointed out against the accused in the instant case that would be covered under’abetment’ as understood in a catena of judgments.” Even if it is assumed that the death was a suicide, there is no evidence against the accused, much less any affirmative act to incite or enable the deceased in committing suicide. As a result, it is not proven, even prima facie, that the accused has committed an offence under Section 306 IPC.”
The Court ruled that while the dead may have been distressed or psychologically disturbed as a result of the accused’s claimed extramarital relationship, mental disturbance did not constitute the offence of abetment, as held in a Supreme Court decision upholding the accused’s discharge.
“Even for instigation, the intent to provoke, incite, urge, or promote the committing of an act is a crucial aspect,” the Court noted, adding that “the record does not bear out any such intention on the side of the accused.” As a result, the order was upheld.“In light of the foregoing, the undisputed allegations made as well as the evidence gathered during the investigation, even if taken at face value and accepted in their entirety, do not prima facie reveal the commission of offences punishable under Sections 498-A or 306 of the IPC against the accused. As a result, the accused Shashi Tharoor is free of charges under Sections 498-A and 306 of the Indian Penal Code. The bail bond has been revoked. The surety has been released.”