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Sunanda case: Tharoor records statement before SDM

Last updated on: January 19, 2014 21:02 IST

Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Sunday recorded his statement before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate who is investigating the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar under mysterious circumstances in a five-star hotel.

During his over half-an-hour long deposition at Sub-Divisional Magistrate Alok Sharma's office in south west Delhi, Tharoor is understood to have narrated events prior to the death of his wife Sunanda.

Sources told that he was extremely cooperative during the recording of the statement. He also told the SDM that there was no altercation of any sort before he left the hotel room on that fateful day. He said that he knew only as much as the police or the medical reports were stating but also added that she was being treated for an illness which was not fatal by nature.

The SDM also asked Tharoor about the recovery of several strips of antidepressant pills found in the hotel room. The police had recovered three strips of Alprax from the hotel room. The police are suspecting a case of drug overdose.

Tharoor was also questioned about his alleged relationship with Meher Tarar, the Pakistani journalist who was accused of stalking him.

The allegations were made a couple of days ago by Sunanda. The SDM sought to know if this incident had led to the death of Sunanda. But Tharoor denied the same and told the SDM that it was a professional relationship and there was nothing more to that. He even quoted their joint statement a few days back which said they were happily married.

The SDM also recorded the statements of family members which included Sunanda's brother and her son. The SDM sought to find out if there was any call from the deceased to them prior to her passing away. The SDM also sought to know if she had complained to them about any marital discord in the past three years of their marriage.

The SDM usually gets involved when the marriage is less than seven years old. The rule was made and imbibed into the criminal code in dowry death cases.

Meanwhile the Delhi Police, which has been suspecting drug overdose to be the cause of death, has sent Sunanda's iPhone and iPad for examination. They are checking the conversations and communications made from the two devices.

The report of the SDM will be handed over to the police who would investigate further. 

Earlier, in a letter to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Tharoor offered his full cooperation in the probe into the death of his wife and said he was "horrified to read the reckless speculation rampant" in the media.

In the letter, Tharoor said the relevant authorities be asked to expedite the investigation and come to a rapid conclusion so that the truth emerges at the earliest regarding Sunanda's death.

The doctors, who conducted a post-mortem on the Sunanda's body on Saturday, had said she died a "sudden unnatural death" and her body bore several injury marks.

With inputs from PTI

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru