Shashi Tharoor, Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande and others booked for sedition
Shashi Tharoor, Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande and others booked for sedition. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, July 27 : A special court in Delhi designated for cases against lawmakers on Tuesday again deferred its order on framing of charges against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

This is the fifth time the pronouncement of the order on framing of charges against Tharoor has been deferred.

The prosecution submitted that it wanted to bring on record and rely upon a recent judgment on the aspect of a "prima facie" case at the time of framing of charges.

Special Judge Geetanjli Goel directed the judgment be placed on record and its copy to be supplied to Tharoor's counsel. However, the court said that it will not be entertaining any more applications.

On April 29, May 19 and June 16, the order was deferred due to the pandemic impacting the judicial work. The pronouncement was adjourned again on July 2, after the court received an application from the prosecution seeking one week's time to file written submissions. The case has now been scheduled for pronouncement on August 18.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Tharoor, had sought his client's discharge in the case, contending that the prosecution had not alleged any mental or physical torture against his client. Pahwa also argued that police, after spending four years on the investigation, could not even find the cause of Pushkar's death.

Pushkar was found dead on the evening of January 17, 2014. Initially, Delhi police investigated the same as a murder with an FIR was registered under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, but then, it charged Tharoor under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 498A (cruelty by husband).

Special public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava had argued that before her death, Pushkar had sustained injuries on her body, and they were reflected in the post-mortem report. He submitted 27 tablets of Alprax were found in her room, although it was not clear as to how many pills she had consumed.

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