Shashi Tharoor gets anticipatory bail in Sunanda Pushkar death case

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014.

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in a case relating to his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death. The Thiruvanantha-puram MP has already been summoned as an accused on July 7 in the case.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted Tharoor relief on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh while directing him to neither tamper with evidence nor leave the country without the court’s prior permission. Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014.

In his plea for anticipatory bail, Mr Tharoor had submitted that the chargesheet in the case was filed and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had categorically stated that the probe was concluded and that his custodial interrogation was not required.

The court had summoned him as an accused in the case on June 5, asking him to appear before it on July 7 observing that there were sufficient grounds to proceed against him. Tharoor has been charged under Sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC, but has not been arrested.

In a seven-page order, the court also noted that Tharoor was a sitting Member of Lok Sabha and used to be the minister of state for external affairs in the UPA regime.

The court said “it is not the case of the prosecution that the accused, at any point of time, tried to influence any witness although some of the witnesses were his domestic servants. ... Certainly, he has joined the probe as and when called. There is no allegation that he has not cooperated with the investigating agency during the probe.”

It rejected the prosecution's contention that Mr Tharoor may flee from justice or try to shift his base to some other country.

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