‘Absence of specific allegations’: Delhi court highlights lack of evidence in Shashi Tharoor’s acquittal

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Updated: August 19, 2021 2:05 PM

Shashi Tharoor had thanked the judge and said it had been absolute torture for last seven-and-a-half years.

Shashi Tharoor had thanked the judge and said it had been absolute torture for last seven-and-a-half years.

A Delhi court on Wednesday acquitted Congress leader Shashi Tharoor of all charges in the death case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, bringing the seven-year long trial to an end. 

In its order, the court observed that criminal trials require evidence & accused can’t be “compelled to face rigmaroles of a criminal trial” in “absence of specific allegations & sufficient material to make out ingredients of the various offences”, as reported by news agency ANI. 

Tharoor, who was present when Special Judge Geetanjali Goel pronounced the order in a virtual hearing on Wednesday, thanked the judge and said it had been absolute torture for last seven-and-a-half years.

Tharoor, who was charged under IPC sections related to cruelty and abetment to suicide but was not arrested, later in the day said in a statement posted on Twitter that his faith in the judiciary stands vindicated. “This brings a significant conclusion to the long nightmare which had enveloped me after the tragic passing of my late wife Sunanda,” the author and politician said as his party came out in strong support of him and attacked the BJP and sections of the media for its “slander campaign”.

“I have weathered dozens of unfounded accusations and media vilification patiently, sustained by my faith in the Indian judiciary, which today stands vindicated,” the 65-year-old Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram added. In our justice system, the process is all too often the punishment, Tharoor noted. “Nonetheless, the fact that justice has been done, at last, will allow all of us in the family to mourn Sunanda in peace,” he said.

While police had sought the framing of various charges against Tharoor during the course of the arguments, his lawyer had told the court that the investigation conducted by the SIT had completely exonerated his client of all the charges against him.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa said there was no evidence to prove the offence against Tharoor. After the order was pronounced, Pahwa told reporters that the charges levelled by the police for abetment to suicide and cruelty were absurd and preposterous. Even the most essential ingredients of the offences were not present in this case, he said.

Pushkar, a prominent face in Delhi circles, 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.

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