Sunanda Pushkar’s email being treated as dying declaration: Delhi Police tells court
New Delhi, May 28 Sunanda Pushkar’s email to her husband Shashi Tharoor nine days before she was found dead that she had no desire to live and all she prayed for is “death” should be treated as a “dying declaration”, the Delhi police told the court today.
As the court reserved for June 5 its order on whether to summon Tharoor, a senior Congress leader, as an accused in the case, the police also said Sunanda’s death was due to poisoning and that 27 tablets of Alprax were found in her room but it was not clear how many pills she had consumed.
Pushkar was found dead in the suite of a luxury hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.
While quoting from the charge sheet, the Delhi Police told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal that Sunanda had injuries on her body which were received prior to her death which is reflected in the post-mortem report.
In an e-mail sent to Tharoor on January 8, 2014, she had written, “I don’t care about the test. I have no desire to live…all I pray for is death,” the police claimed but did not elaborate.
Sunanda’s mail and messages on social media should be taken as a “dying declaration”, the police told the court.
Referring to Section 113A of the Indian Evidence Act, Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava said, “It is presumed that if she has committed suicide, she must have been subjected to cruelty before death. Court may take cognisance of this fact that it is a case of abetment, as the death has taken place within seven years of the marriage, and under the law, a case of abetment is made out.”
Under Section 113A of the Act, a court “may presume, having regard to all the other circumstances of the case, that … suicide had been abetted by her husband or by such relative of her husband” if she kills herself within seven years from the date of her marriage.
To drive home the point that Sunanda was subjected to cruelty, Shrivastava also alleged that Tharoor did not bother to take care of his ailing wife who was suffering from high fever.
He said that Suananda used to write poems, the contents of which showed that everything was not right with her.
The Delhi Police had on May 14 accused the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram of abetting Sunanda’s suicide and urged the court that he should be summoned as an accused in the four-and-half year-old case, claiming there was sufficient evidence against him.
In a nearly 3,000-page charge sheet, the police has named Tharoor as the only accused while also alleging that he had subjected his wife to cruelty.
The couple’s domestic servant, Narayan Singh, has been named one of the key witnesses in the case. Tharoor has not been arrested in the case.
The Congress leader has been charged under sections 498 A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
Under section 498A, the maximum punishment is up to three years of imprisonment, while jail term of up to 10 years is prescribed under section 306.
The charge sheet, which includes several annexures including medical reports, said that Sunanda died within four years of her marriage with Tharoor. The couple had entered the wedlock on August 22, 2010.
The suite of the South Delhi hotel, where Pushkar had died, was sealed by the police on the night of her death for investigations. An FIR was registered by the police on January 1, 2015 against unknown persons under IPC section 302 (murder).
According to prosecution sources, the charge sheet has mentioned that Pushkar was allegedly subjected to mental as well as physical cruelty.
The special investigation team on April 20 had told the apex court that a draft final report has been prepared after conducting “thorough professional and scientific investigations” in the case relating to the death of Congress MP’s wife.