New Delhi: Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor has been summoned on July 7 by a trial court in Delhi as an accused in the suicide of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The court took note of a police charge-sheet and said there were "sufficient grounds" to proceed against Mr Tharoor on charges of cruelty and abetting suicide.
- Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a hotel in Delhi in 2014
- Shashi Tharoor has been charged with abetting her suicide
- He has also been accused of cruelty to his wife in the chargesheet
In a statement posted on Twitter, the former union minister said: "I would like to reiterate my position that I find the charges preposterous and baseless, the product of a malicious and vindictive campaign against myself."
Mr Tharoor is the only person named as an accused in the 3,000-page charge-sheet.
Sunanda Pushkar, 51, was found dead in her suite at a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17, 2014. Her last mails and messages on social media have been taken by the police as her dying declaration.
The police say about a week before her death, Sunanda Pushkar had emailed her husband that she had "lost her will to live". The email on January 8, nine days before her death, read: "I have no desire to live...all I pray for is death."
The charge-sheet quotes a special investigation team as deducing that Mr Tharoor "as a husband ignored Sunanda when she was sliding or slipping into depression and she had Alprax." They had frequent fights, it says, and "though injury marks were not serious, they are consistent with claims that the couple fought."
The probe team also said Mr Tharoor "ignored her calls and disconnected her calls in the days before her death." Sunanda Pushkar used social media to reach him, but those messages were also ignored, says the charge-sheet.
The police first claimed that Sunanda Pushkar was poisoned and registered a murder case in January 2015 without naming any suspect.
Three years later, the police say there is no proof of murder but it is evident Sunanda Pushkar was driven to suicide.
Mr Tharoor and Ms Pushkar married in 2010 and their high-profile relationship was often in the media glare.