Sunanda Pushkar Death: Tharoor Opposes in HC Police Plea To Condone Delay in Filing Appeal Against His Discharge

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday opposed in the Delhi High Court a plea by the police for the condonation of delay in filing a revision petition challenging the discharge of the politician in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death case.

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said the reply filed by Tharoor to the police’s plea be brought on record and listed the matter for further hearing on May 17.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Tharoor, has pointed out to the high court that the revision petition has been filed by the Delhi Police 15 months after the trial court passed its order on August 18, 2021, clearing him from all charges.

The Congress leader has said in the reply that the police’s application for condonation of delay does not provide any details as to when the decision was taken by the Directorate of Prosecution to file a revision petition against the trial court’s order or when the sanction was granted to file it.

It said the State has given a vague explanation that the previous petition was filed in November 2021 by the office of additional standing counsel and objection could not be removed for a long time due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and thereafter a new counsel was appointed and it was found that the earlier petition has been lost.

The reply said it seemed that the State is only making an excuse in an attempt to justify the inordinate and inexplicable delay caused in filing the revision petition.

The high court had in December 2022 issued notice to Tharoor only on the police’s application for condonation of delay, saying it will first decide this plea.

The police, through additional standing counsel Rupali Bandhopadhya, has filed the revision petition seeking setting aside of the trial court’s 2021 order and for direction to frame charges against Tharoor under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Pahwa and lawyer Gaurav Gupta, also representing Tharoor, have contended that the police filed the revision petition after a delay of over 1 year and before issuing notice on the main plea, the court should hear him on the application for condonation of delay.

They have said several orders were earlier passed that during the pendency of the case, the record be not given to anybody except the parties.

As the counsel for the police said she has no objection to this, the high court had directed that the copies or documents relating to the case shall not be supplied to any person who is not a party here.

Tharoor, who is an MP for Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, was discharged in the case more than seven years after businesswoman Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel here.

Pushkar, a prominent face in Delhi circles, was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel on the night of January 17, 2014. The couple had been staying in the hotel as Tharoor’s official bungalow was being renovated at the time.

Tharoor was charged under the provisions of the IPC related to cruelty and abetment to suicide but was not arrested in the case.

The Congress leader’s counsel maintained that there was no evidence against him in the case.

He had earlier claimed that post-mortem and other medical reports established that it was neither a suicide nor homicide.

Tharoor was granted anticipatory bail in the case by a sessions court on July 5, 2018.

Following that order, a magisterial court converted the anticipatory bail into regular bail after he appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued by a metropolitan magistrate in the case.

Related Articles

Latest Articles