Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday returned to the national capital, saying it is his duty to cooperate in the investigation into the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar even as Delhi Police said it will not question him as of now.
“It is my duty to cooperate with the police investigation and not to undermine the probe in any way,” said Tharoor while heading back to Delhi on a flight from Kochi after a fortnight-long stay for Ayurveda treatment at Guruvayur.
A senior Delhi Police official today said they were not going to question Tharoor for now as they want to first examine all other people related to the case and look into the available evidence.
“As of now we have no business with him. We would like to question his aides and others including the hotel staff. We would like to collate all the available material relevant to the case and then take a decision on the issue of examining him (Tharoor),” he said.
Another official associated with the probe said that in a couple of days, they will move “letter rogatory” in a local court under sections of CrPC for sending viscera samples to a foreign lab in the US or UK to determine the nature and quantity of the poison which caused her death.
“A letter rogatory or a letter of request is a formal request from a court to a foreign court for some type of judicial assistance. The Indian court will request the court of the country where the viscera has to be tested to get it tested in their lab. After tests, the lab will send the report to their court which would be routed to our court,” he said.
This procedure will ensure that the test reports have legal sanctity and they are admissible in court, he added.
Tharoor, who arrived at the IGI airport here late afternoon, did not speak to media persons present there, and went straight to his house in Lodhi Estate in central Delhi.
On the flight, a television channel reporter fielded a volley of questions which included whether he had any problem with the probe so far or whether he was satisfied with the probe. He was also asked about the manner in which his domestic help was grilled, but he refused to respond to most of the questions.
Asked why he has questioned the viscera samples being sent abroad for further tests, Tharoor said he has not.
“Yes (I have written a letter) but not with that point in it. I don’t release confidential correspondence,” he said.
Investigators had also said that they had not come across any IPL cricket league angle in the case so far in the wake of some media reports suggesting it.
51-year-old Sunanda was found dead in a five-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17 last, a day after her spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on microblogging site twitter over an alleged affair with Tharoor.
Initially, the Special Investigative Team formed in the case wanted to question Tharoor straight away and a notice asking him to join the probe was also prepared but it was not despatched at the last moment as the police top brass decided to question everybody else before examining him.
Tharoor had on Saturday said he will extend full cooperation in a “fair” investigation and demanded a professional police probe without any political pressure or consideration and pre-determined outcome.
Delhi Police had on Tuesday registered a case of murder in connection with Sunanda’s death under Section 302 of IPC on the basis of an AIIMS medical report that concluded that her death was unnatural and due to poisoning.
Sources said that Delhi Police has not yet responded to the letter written to it by Tharoor.
Tharoor is believed to have sought an early opportunity to meet the police and clear any doubts that they may have.
Earlier, Tharoor met Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but there was no official word on what transpired at the meeting. Congress has been backing Tharoor and accusing BJP of “political vendetta” by targeting him.