New Delhi, Dec 1 (PTI): The Delhi police moved the Delhi High Court on Thursday against the discharge of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in the case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death, more than 15 months after a city court let him off, and sought condonation of delay in filing the revision petition.
The high court sought Tharoor’s response to the plea by the Delhi police for condoning the delay, and listed the matter for hearing on February 7, 2023.
The Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram was discharged of all offences like cruelty and abetment to suicide in August 2021, more than seven years after his businesswoman wife Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel in the national capital.
Pushkar 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.
After Tharoor’s counsel referred to the protracted delay, Justice D K Sharma issued a notice to the Congress leader and sought his reply to the police’s application for condonation of delay.
“First we will decide the condonation of delay application,” the judge said.
The high court also asked the counsel for police to supply a copy of its petition to Tharoor’s lawyer.
The police, through additional standing counsel Rupali Bandhopadhya, filed the revision petition seeking setting aside of the trial court’s 2021 order and for direction to frame charges against Tharoor under section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa and lawyer Gaurav Gupta, representing Tharoor, claimed the plea was not served to him and was ‘deliberately’ sent to a wrong email id.
Pahwa contended the police have filed the revision petition after a delay of over a year and, before issuing notice on the main plea, the court should hear him on the application for condonation of delay.
He said several orders were earlier passed that during the pendency of the case the record be not given to anybody except for the parties.
“This media trial goes on. This affects right to fair trial,” he argued.
As the counsel for police said she has no objection to this, the high court directed that the copies or documents related to the case shall not be supplied to any person who is not a party to the case in court.
It listed the matter for further hearing on February 7, 2023.
Though charged under IPC provisions related to cruelty and abetment to suicide, Tharoor was never arrested.
The Congress leader’s counsel maintained there was no evidence against him in the case and that the post mortem and other medical reports established it was neither a case of suicide nor homicide.