New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, accused in a case related to his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death in a luxury hotel here, to travel abroad. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal allowed Mr Tharoor’s application seeking permission for eight visits to five countries, including the US, Canada and Germany, till December.
The court placed several conditions on Mr Tharoor, while noting that there was nothing on record to suggest that he may flee justice. The judge said : “He (Mr Tharoor) has cooperated with the investigation. He had appeared before court on the first date in pursuance of the summons issued to him. There is nothing on record to presume that he may flee justice.” He directed the Congress MP to furnish a fixed deposit of Rs 2 lakh, which will be refunded after his return.
The court asked him to inform the investigating officer and the court about the travel details and his arrival in the country. It also directed him not to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses.
While opposing Mr Tharoor’s plea, moved through lawyer Gaurav Gupta, the police said it wanted to check the veracity of the invitations received by the politician and that he should have applied separately for permission for every visit. Mr Gupta, however, said his client was ready to file certificates to authenticate the computer printouts of the invitations. He added that separate applications will consume more time of the court as well the prosecuting agency and will hamper the speed of the trial.
The court had earlier granted exemption to Mr Tharoor from personal appearance for a day after he said that he was unable to come to court since Parliament was in session.
Sunanda was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014. The couple was staying in the hotel, as the official bungalow of Tharoor was being renovated at that time.
The court also directed the Delhi Police to hand over various documents filed along with the charge sheet, including statements of witnesses, to Tharoor on a plea moved by him.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP was granted regular bail on July 7. The court had on June 5 summoned Tharoor, observing there was sufficient ground to proceed against him.
Mr Tharoor has been charged under sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but has not been arrested in the case.