Sunanda Pushkar death case: Shashi Tharoor’s lawyer rejects prosecution claim

Anand Mohan J
Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar in Mumbai. (Express photo: Pradip Das/File)

Rebutting the prosecution’s claim that someone must have forcibly administered poison leading to Sunanda Pushkar’s death in 2014, her husband and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, through his counsel, told a Delhi court Thursday that there was no evidence to suggest cause of death. The court was hearing arguments on framing of charges.

Police had asked the court to prosecute Tharoor for abetment to suicide or “alternatively” frame murder charges against him. The prosecution had read three medical reports and claimed the “cause of death was poisoning, probably Alprazolam poisoning”.

Tharoor’s counsel, senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, told Special Judge Ajay Kumar: “When they could not find anything, they took a very adventurous turn; they wanted to conduct a psychological autopsy. When on document, whether it’s the autopsy board’s report... or CFSL reports..., nothing has established the cause of death in this case.”

Pahwa said on the contrary, reports suggest it was neither a case of homicide or suicide. He said Sunanda was tweeting till the early hours of January 17 (the day she died) and had annexed a joint statement with Tharoor on her Twitter account and Facebook page. “They are relying on these tweets but they have not supplied them to this court,” he said, and moved an application under CrPC section 91 seeking summoning of Sunanda’s tweets.

Pahwa submitted that the documents “clearly indicate the deceased was not having any suicidal ideations 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”.

As the argument could not be completed, the court set November 15 as the next date of hearing.