19 Aug 2021 10:58 AM GMT
Discharging Congress MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor of the charges of cruelty and abetment to suicide in connection with Sunanda Pushkar death case, a Delhi Court has observed that there was no prima facie willful conduct on his part likely to drive Pushkar to commit suicide and that in absence of sufficient material, Tharoor cannot be compelled to face the rigmaroles of a criminal trial.The Delhi...
Discharging Congress MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor of the charges of cruelty and abetment to suicide in connection with Sunanda Pushkar death case, a Delhi Court has observed that there was no prima facie willful conduct on his part likely to drive Pushkar to commit suicide and that in absence of sufficient material, Tharoor cannot be compelled to face the rigmaroles of a criminal trial.
The Delhi Police had filed chargesheet against him for offences under Section 498A (cruelty) and 306(abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
Special Judge Geetanjali Goel of Rouse Avenue Court, Delhi observed that none of the reports submitted by Doctors and Autopsy Board confirmed the cause of death as suicide.
"Suffice it to say that none of the Reports either of Medical Doctors or of Psychological Autopsy Board had confirmed that the death was a suicide", the Court said.
Even if it is assumed that Pushkar's death was suicidal, there was no material to show abetment on the part of Tharoor.
"There is no material whatsoever against the accused much less any positive act to instigate or aid the deceased in committing the suicide, even if it is assumed that the death was a suicide. As such, it is not shown, even prima facie that the offence under Section 306 IPC is made out against the accused."
"There is nothing on record to show that the accused did some act in order to irritate or annoy the deceased until she reacted or strongly persuaded or advised the deceased to do some act with the intention to provoke, incite, urge or encourage the latter to commit suicide."
The Court also observed that it settled law that marital disputes cannot be taken as abetment if suicide results therefrom.
In the discharge order running 176 pages, the Court also appreciated the painstaking efforts of the Investigating Officer and the SIT to collect, analyze and review all available material meticulously, however, while doing so, the Court observed that the charge-sheet appeared to have been filed in the hope that perhaps "the Court would find some material to proceed with the trial against the accused."
"No doubt a precious life was lost. But in the absence of specific allegations and sufficient material to make out the ingredients of the various offences and on the basis of which the court could, at this stage presume that the accused had committed the offence, the accused cannot be compelled to face the rigmaroles of a criminal trial," the Court observed at the outset.
On the allegation of Tharoor having an affair with a woman, the Court, while noting that statements of the witnesses showed that Pushkar was agitated, distressed, felt betrayed and cheated due to the alleged affair, observed that nothing was brought on record by the prosecution to show that Tharoor had provoked, incited or induced Pushkar to commit suicide.
"There is nothing to demonstrate any overt act on the part of the accused and only on the ground that he continued the alleged affair with MT (even if it is assumed) and exchanged messages with her, it cannot be presumed that he had abetted the commission of suicide by the deceased," the Court said.
While discharging Tharoor in the matter, the Court concluded thus:
"In view of the above discussion, the uncontroverted allegations made as well as the material collected during the investigation, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety, do not prima facie disclose the commission of offences punishable under Sections 498-A or 306 of IPC against the accused."
Pushkar was found dead in January 2014 at a hotel in New Delhi. In 2015, and an FIR had been filed in this regard. In May 2018, Dr. Tharoor was charged with abetment to suicide and marital cruelty under Sections 306 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
The prosecution had pressed the charges of abetment to suicide and cruelty under sec. 306 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
Title: State Vs. Shashi Tharoor
Click Here To Read Judgment