Sunanda Pushkar was in mental agony before death: Delhi police to court

New Delhi: Sunanda Pushkar, who was allegedly driven to commit suicide, was suffering from mental agony due to strained relationship with her husband and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor with whom she had a scuffle resulting in various injury marks few days before her death, the Delhi Police on Tuesday told a court here.

Police accused Tharoor of torturing his wife which abetted her to commit suicide. The former Union minister, who is currently on bail in the case, was charged by the Delhi Police under Sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The probe agency told special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar that according to the postmortem, the cause of Pushkar’s death was poisoning and 15 injury marks were found on various parts of her body – forearm, arms, leg, etc. Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told the court that the Pushkar was upset and suffering from mental agony due to the scuffle between the duo.

The submission was made while hearing arguments on framing of charges against Tharoor in the case related to Pushkar’s death. The prosecutor further told the court that Tharoor’s relation with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar also added to Sunanda’s mental agony.

The prosecutor also apprised the court about Pushkar’s friend and journalist Nalini Singh’s statement, which is part of the charge sheet, that the relation between the couple was tense and bad.

“I got a call from Sunanda who was crying and sobbing. I told her Mehr Tarar was nothing and she was everything. She wanted to take revenge from Tharoor and Terar. There was a lot of bad publicity in media. She told she helped Tharoor a lot in IPL matter. She had found some messages between Tarar and Tharoor. She refused to go to their house and instead went to Leela hotel. The relation between the couple was very bad,” Singh had said in her statement.

The prosecutor also told the court that an e-mail written by Tharoor to Trar addressing her as “my darlingest” has also been found. “Such type of language was used. There are various letter which shows how intimate Tharoor and Trar were to each other,” he said.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Tharoor, refuted the submissions and said he was not aware of any such e-mail. The case is now listed for next hearing on 31 August. The case was earlier sent to sessions court for further proceedings. The maximum punishment for the offence is 10 years of imprisonment. Pushkar’s death had created a sensation as it came shortly after a bitter spat between the couple over Twitter, over his alleged affair with Tarar.

Pushkar, 51, was found dead in a suite of the Hotel Leela, a luxury hotel in Delhi’s Chanakyapuri, on the night of 17 January 2014. The couple were staying at the hotel as the official bungalow of Tharoor was being renovated at that time.