Politics Today: Indian politician faces jail 'for helping his wife commit suicide

Politics Today: Indian politician faces jail 'for helping his wife commit suicide
 Politics Today: Indian politician faces jail 'for helping his wife commit suicide

A famous Indian politician faces 10 years in prison for supposedly helping his wife commit suicide, four years after her passing stunned the nation.

Shashi Tharoor, 62, was formally charged by a court on Tuesday after police said three weeks prior they at last had enough criminological proof to arraign him.

His wife Sunanda Pushkar, 51, was discovered dead in a five-star Delhi lodging room in January 2014 and specialists named her destruction 'unnatural' and 'sudden'.

Days sooner it was uncovered he was engaging in extramarital relations with Pakistani writer Mehr Tarar, which his wife uncovered by hacking into his Twitter.

Ms Pushkar posted  captures of romantic messages between the pair to his two million followers, lighting a media firestorm.

The former Indian minister and one-time UN Secretary-General candidate rejected all notions that he was involved in her death and even sued a media outlet.

Mr Tharoor is formally accused of cruelty towards his wife and abetting a suicide, which carries a 10-year jail term in India.

A warrant has not yet been issued to Mr Tharoor, who is on a book tour of Britain, is in no danger of being arrested, but must attend a hearing on July 7.

The opposition Congress Party member said the charges were 'preposterous and baseless' and a 'malicious and vindictive' campaign against him.

'I will continue to vigorously contest these charges and maintain my steadfast conviction that ultimately the truth will prevail through the judicial system that we are privileged to have in our country,' he said.

Mr Tharnoor also posted on Twitter: 'No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part.'

The Congress Party also said it 'completely rejected' the charges against its former rising star.

'They have hounded him, they have persecuted him, they have maligned him. They have carried on a media trial against him,' it said.

The couple were married for less than seven years, prompting an automatic investigation that found she was poisoned.

Ms Pushkar was taking medication for various illnesses and early post-mortem results suggested she may have overdosed on antidepressants and sleeping pills.

Her son Shiv Menon also rejected the possibility of suicide after her funeral, instead blaming her medications.

'It was an unfortunate combination of media stress, tensions and a wrong mix of different medications,' he said.

But experts later ruled she was 'neither ill nor had any disease prior to her death' and a 'normal healthy individual', but could not identify the poison used.

'Medical board reserved the comment on specific poison/chemical since there is a lot of limitation on viscera report,' the 12-page report said.



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