Sunanda Pushkar raised Indian Premier League Kochi row with journalist a day before her death

Journalist Nalini Singh today told the Delhi Police’s SIT, probing former union minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar’s…

Sunanda Pushkar, Sunanda Pushkar Death, IPL controversy, Indian Premier League Controversy

Journalist Nalini Singh today told a special team of Delhi Police probing Sunanda Pushkar’s mysterious death that former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife had spoken to her about taking the blame for her husband in the IPL controversy.

During her questioning by the Special Investigating Team (SIT), Singh said Sunanda mentioned to her about the IPL issue a day before she was found dead in a luxury hotel, police sources said.

They said the SIT will take help of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police to examine the business model of the erstwhile IPL Kochi franchise and to understand the controversy surrounding it.

The investigators will also examine whether the IPL controversy had anything to do with Sunanda’s death.

Asked about the issue, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said that if needed, the SIT will examine financial transactions of the IPL franchise.

“There are a number of things. It can be background and it can be motive also. If we need to see any financial transaction to understand that, if we need to see the company formation and financial background, then we will look into it,” he said.

Bassi also indicated that Tharoor can be questioned in this connection again in “some days”.

“Whatever we had spoken to him during the first questioning is being analysed and if we need further questioning, it will be done. Since it is a very involved case, there would be a need to talk to him again, so the SIT will call him again in some days,” he said.

In her statement to the SDM on January 20 last year, Nalini Singh had said that she had spoken to Sunanda a day before her death over phone and that she had expressed her unhappiness over Tharoor’s alleged affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar.

“I was examined as Sunanda had telephoned me on the same day she died,” Singh, who was questioned at Sarojini Nagar Police Station for nearly 80 minutes today, told reporters.

The IPL controversy had broken out in early 2010 when Tharoor was Minister of State for External Affairs. There were allegations that he had “misused” his office to ensure that Rs 70 crore, which was equivalent to 19 per cent equity in IPL Kochi franchise Rendezvous Sports, was paid to Sunanda.

Sunanda, who was then a friend and yet to become Tharoor’s wife, had refuted allegations of any wrongdoing. She had also denied that she was acting as the front for Tharoor in the Kochi IPL franchise.

Later, she quit Rendezvous Sports World after deciding to return her free equity worth Rs 70 crore to the franchise.

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First published on: 24-01-2015 at 05:00 IST