A Delhi court Thursday allowed Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, accused in the death case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, to travel abroad. Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar granted permission to Tharoor to visit Dubai from November 14 to 18. Tharoor had told the court that he was invited there to attend a meeting of Sir Bani Yas Forum. Judge Kuhar directed him to furnish a fixed deposit of Rs 2 lakh, which shall be returned to him after he returns back to India.
"Tharoor shall not tamper with the evidence nor try to influence any witness in any manner and will not use the permission granted to him contrary to the rules... Before leaving India, accused shall also furnish the complete itinerary stating the place, which he intends to visit and the period of his stay as also the contact addresses to the court on each occasion where he would be staying and his contact numbers," the court said. The court noted that he was granted permission in the past as well to visit abroad.
The Delhi Police opposed the application, saying that Tharoor and may settle abroad to evade trial if granted permission to go abroad and the relief at this early stage of proceedings may hamper the course of a trial. In his application, moved by advocate Gaurav Gupta, Tharoor had also sought permission to visit Oman where he has been invited by the National University of Science and Technology to speak at the national lecture on December 16.
The application also mentioned that he had to travel to the US and Mexico from December 28 to January 8 for a get-together to celebrate the 80th birthday of his mother. The court, however, said it will consider these applications later. While granting him bail in the case, the court had directed him not to leave the country without its prior permission. The former Union minister has been charged under sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 of the IPC but has not been arrested in the case.
Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014. The couple was staying in the hotel as the official bungalow of Tharoor was being renovated at that time.