Allegations of Shashi Tharoor’s extramarital affair are only a “figment of imagination“, argued Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa on Friday before a Delhi court in the criminal case pertaining to the death of his wife, Sunanda Pushkar (State vs Shashi Tharoor).
In August 2019, the Delhi Police had pressed for framing of charges under Sections 498A (cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) or alternatively under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code against the sole accused, Shashi Tharoor.
Pahwa is arguing in favour of Tharoor’s discharge in the matter.
Pahwa contended before Geetanjali Goel, Special Judge, Rouse Avenue that the Prosecution has absolutely no evidence to support its claim of Tharoor having an extra-marital affair.
“What is the evidence of extramarital affair? There is a reference to a letter.. a draft letter recovered from someone else’s computer. No evidence to suggest that the draft letter was sent or received by anyone..they say probably my wife had some doubts. But when they go beyond that, they have to give some proof,” Pahwa remarked.
Reliance was also placed on case laws to further state that merely having an extramarital affair was not enough to make out a case of abetment to suicide.
Pahwa also urged the Court to “take care” of the gross misuse of Section 498A IPC.
“Adverse media coverage adds to the misery and in my case it is true.. Section 498A should not become an assassin’s weapon.. innocent persons should not suffer because of baseless allegations,” he submitted.
Pahwa again pressed that the Prosecution had failed to establish the cause of death in the present case.
“Son and everyone else says she could not have committed suicide.. any case of Section 306 should qualify the test of Section 309. When there is no suicide, how can there be a case of abatement. they have first failed to show suicide, and then abetment.”
Arguments will continue on April 9.
Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in her suite at a five-star hotel in New Delhi on January 17, 2014. Pushkar’s husband and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is the sole accused in the case, is presently on bail.
As per the prosecution, Pushkar was a completely healthy person and the cause of her death was poisoning due to the consumption of Alprazolam.
The prosecution’s case is based on the ground that Pushkar was subjected to mental cruelty by her husband due to several controversies surrounding their relationship. Atul Srivastava is the prosecutor in the case.