Delhi Police, while arguing on framing charges pertaining to the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, told a Delhi court that while the post-mortem report claimed the cause of her death was poisoning, there were also 15 ante-mortem injuries on her body, which were 12 hours- to four-days-old, and were “produced in a scuffle”.
Pushkar was found dead in a hotel room in south Delhi on January 17, 2014.
The court is hearing the matter on framing charges against Tharoor for the first time.
Tharoor was booked under IPC sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide). The prosecution claimed Sunanda was upset with her husband after she found messages exchanged between him and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, and her “behaviour was aggravated”.
Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava told Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar: “The post-mortem, by a board of senior doctors at AIIMS, found 15 ante-mortem injuries on her person.”
Srivastava claimed the injuries were mostly contusions on the right forearm, one bite mark and a mark left by an injection.
“To the best of my knowledge, the cause of death is poisoning. There are blunt force injuries, which are simple in nature, and produced in a scuffle. The injury marks are for the duration of 12 hours to four days,” he said. Citing some SC judgments, Srivastava said the concept of cruelty varies from individual to individual, and may also include mental torture and abnormal behaviour.
He also read out a statement by senior journalist Nalini Singh, a prosecution witness, which said she came to know the relationship was tense, and Sunanda was crying and sobbing over the phone. “The
lady (Sunanda) found BBM (BlackBerry messenger) messages between Tarar and Tharoor. She confronted him… there was a physical confrontation,” Srivastava told the court.
He also stated that Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor were married for three years and four months. This was the third marriage of both parties, he said, and added that under IPC sections, unnatural death within seven years of marriage is suspicious.
Responding to the submissions made in court, Tharoor’s counsel, Vikas Pahwa, said, “The prosecutor has just started making the argument. Let him conclude, I will respond to each and every argument. He is only making selective reading at the moment.”
Tharoor has consistently denied all charges, calling them preposterous and motivated.