The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking cancellation of Shashi Tharoor's anticipatory bail in the case accusing him of allegedly abetting the suicide of his wife, Sunanda Pushkar.
The petition, filed by Advocate Deepak Anand, was dismissed by Justice RK Gauba. The plea had essentially challenged Mr. Tharoor’s move to bypass a magisterial court and directly approach a sessions court for seeking anticipatory bail.
Ms. Pushkar was found dead in a suite in Leela Hotel in South Delhi on January, 17, 2014. The Delhi Police had then filed a charge-sheet in May this year, naming Mr. Tharoor as an accused. It had cited an email sent by Ms. Pushkar to her husband, expressing her wish to die.
Thereafter, on June 5, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal had issued an order summoning Mr. Tharoor to appear before him on July 7. The ACMM had taken cognizance of the charge sheet and related documents submitted by the Special Investigation Team, and had concluded that there were sufficient grounds to proceed against him for abetment of suicide under Section 306 of IPC and committing cruelty under Section 498A of IPC.
“I have gone through and perused the charge sheet and documents filed along with it by the Special Investigation Team…On the basis of the police report, I take cognizance of offence of abetment of suicide punishable under Section 306 IPC of the late Ms Sunanda Pushkar and of committing cruelty upon her punishable under Section 498A IPC by Dr Shashi Tharoor…
…There exist sufficient grounds to proceed against Dr Shashi Tharoor for commission of offence under Sections 306 and 498A IPC. Issue summons to him for his appearance on July 7 at 10 AM,” the ACMM had ordered.
Mr. Tharoor had then moved a plea for anticipatory bail before Additional Special judge Arvind Kumar, who had sought response of the Delhi Police after Mr. Tharoor’s counsel, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa had submitted, “”The charge sheet has been filed without arrest. The SIT has categorically stated in the charge sheet that investigation is concluded and all requisite material and evidence has been collected and no custodial interrogation of any person is required…
…The law is very clear that if the charge sheet is filed without arrest, bail is inevitable. He (Tharoor) has been shown in column 11 without arrest. We have only requested for protection from Sessions court so that we appear in the court on July 7.”
His plea was allowed, two days before he was scheduled to appear as an accused in the case.
This was then challenged before the High Court. On September 25, the Delhi Police had partly supported the plea and had also filed a status report in the matter.