Indian politician Shashi Tharoor facing charges over wife's death

Police in Delhi have recommended criminal charges against one of India's most prominent opposition politicians, openi...

Posted: May 15, 2018 12:36 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 12:36 PM

Police in Delhi have recommended criminal charges against one of India's most prominent opposition politicians, opening what could be the final chapter in a high-profile case that has transfixed the country for the past four years.

Shashi Tharoor, a former top UN diplomat and best-selling author turned MP for India's main opposition Congress Party, has been accused of abetting what the police say was his wife Sunanda Puskhar's suicide in 2014.

"We have done our investigation and submitted our results to the court," Deependra Pathak, official spokesperson for the Delhi police, told CNN. "The court will take cognizance, mull it over and frame the charges," he added. A local court is due to consider the case on May 24.

Pushkar, 51, was found dead in her room in a luxury Delhi hotel in 2014, triggering frenzied media coverage and speculation about the cause of her death, initially labeled "unnatural" and "sudden" by doctors.

Now, after investigating the case for four years, police authorities in Delhi have filed a charge sheet with a local court, saying her death was a suicide - and recommending charges against Tharoor covering the abetment of a suicide that carries a possible prison term of up to 10 years, according to deputy police commissioner Romil Baniya.

Pushkar, a businesswoman from Dubai married Tharoor in 2010, and the couple led a glitzy life in the social sphere of the Delhi elite.

Her death was reported on widely in Indian media, and the police investigation has taken numerous turns since, including, at one point, classing her death as a possible case of murder.

Tharoor has repeatedly denied allegations that he was involved in his wife's death in any way.

Responding to the police charge sheet filed Monday, he labeled the allegations "preposterous," saying on Twitter that he intended to "contest it vigorously."

A few days before Puskhar's death, reports emerged alleging that Tharoor had had an affair with a journalist from Pakistan. Indian media reported that Pushkar had hacked into her husband's Twitter account and tweeted about the alleged affair.

The journalist in question dismissed the allegations. Tharoor and Sunanda also released a joint statement, saying that they were "happily married."

On Monday, the Congress party staunchly backed Tharoor and denounced what it labeled as a "politically motivated charge sheet against him."

Slamming the police for supporting a political agenda and for becoming a party to a political conspiracy, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala added that Tharoor has been hounded and persecuted over the past few years.

"We completely reject the charge against Shashi Tharoor. They have hounded him, they have persecuted him, they have maligned him. They have carried on a media trial against him," said Surjewala.

Tharoor filed a defamation lawsuit against a prominent Indian media house that has openly accused him of involvement in his wife's death. The case is currently ongoing in a Delhi court.

Tharoor has previously served as a cabinet minister in India and before that, as a senior diplomat for United Nations around the world. He was married to Pushkar for nearly four years and it was a third marriage for both of them.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 114306

Reported Deaths: 5083
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook745213455
Lake7845270
DuPage7350347
Kane5947162
Will5279264
Winnebago200152
McHenry147569
St. Clair103573
Kankakee80843
Kendall73619
Rock Island63823
Champaign5807
Madison54457
Boone41016
Sangamon33727
DeKalb3343
Randolph2644
Jackson24210
McLean21513
Out of IL2051
Stephenson1942
Ogle1932
Macon18919
Peoria1888
Clinton17817
Union1437
LaSalle14013
Whiteside13410
Iroquois1314
Coles11912
Warren1130
Unassigned1100
Jefferson10116
Knox940
Monroe9311
Grundy882
McDonough837
Lee761
Tazewell693
Cass680
Henry670
Williamson572
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin431
Perry410
Pulaski410
Montgomery391
Vermilion371
Morgan341
Christian334
Jo Daviess310
Livingston312
Douglas260
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Woodford182
Mason170
Menard170
Mercer160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Hancock150
Carroll142
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Robinson
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Rockville
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 65°
Casey
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
More Rain Thursday
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events