Sunanda case: Shashi Tharoor to stand trial from February 21

The Sessions Court will now hear arguments on whether to frame charges against Tharoor and put him on trial.

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday sent Sunanda Pushkar’s death case against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to sessions court for further proceedings, noting that as the matter pertains to abetment of suicide, it was “exclusively triable” by that court. The offences which attract punishment of 7 years or more are triable by the sessions court.

Mr Tharoor will be tried for abetment to suicide in the case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death, starting on February 21

Since Mr Tharoor is booked under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code, which attracts maximum punishment of 10 years, it can only be heard by a sessions court, which is superior to the magisterial court. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal sent the case to Additional Sessions Judge Arun Bhardwaj. The Sessions Court will now hear arguments on whether to frame charges against Tharoor and put him on trial.

“Since this court is only a committing court because the offence under section 306 IPC is exclusively triable by Sessions Court, it is clear that the prosecution/ trial of the case will take place in Sessions Court and not before this court,” the court said. The court also directed Delhi Police to preserve vigilance report in the matter.

It also directed the police and the prosecution not to share the chargesheet and other documents of the case with any third party keeping in view his “right of privacy, right to reputation and right to receive free and fair trial”. “Undisputedly, all these are the fundamental rights of a person... And apprehension of any person, regarding violation of his fundamental rights, by any agency of the state is sufficient to justify any action of the court to protect it within the ambit of its powers,” it said.

“The prosecution as well the Delhi Police shall not share with any third person, the charge sheet or any other document which are the part of the charge sheet till the next date of hearing,” it said. The Thiruvana-nthapuram MP was granted regular bail on July 7 last year after he appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued against him.

Mr Tharoor, former Union minister and Pushkar’s husband, has been charged under sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but has not been arrested.

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