In a relief to senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, the Patiala House Court granted him anticipatory bail in the Sunanda Pushkar case on Thursday, 5 July.
The bail was granted on a surety of one lakh and a personal bond. Tharoor will, however, not be allowed to leave the country without the prior permission of the court.
On 4 July, Special Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava, appearing for Delhi Police, said that since Tharoor, an influential person, has been summoned now as an accused, he may harm the investigation.
"He is a frequent flyer and may settle abroad. Some of the key witnesses – including Narayan Singh and Bajrangi – are still working with Tharoor and he may influence them," he said.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Tharoor, told the court that the police contradicted their earlier statement.
"In the charge sheet they said that Tharoor cooperated during the probe and, therefore, he was not arrested. Police is speaking to the contrary to what they said earlier [sic],” the counsel said.
They told the court that since Tharoor was not arrested before filing of the charge sheet, he should be given protection from arrest. The Congress leader had moved the court on 3 July, seeking anticipatory bail.
In his plea, Tharoor had submitted that the charge sheet in the case was filed and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had categorically stated that the probe was concluded and that his custodial interrogation was not required.
The court had summoned him as an accused in the case on 5 June, asking him to appear before it on 7 July and observing that there were sufficient grounds to proceed against him.
Pushkar was found dead in a suite at a luxury hotel in the city on the night of 17 January, 2014.
Tharoor has been charged under sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but has not been arrested in the case.
The police, in its charge sheet filed on 14 May, had accused Tharoor of abetting Pushkar's suicide and told the court that he should be summoned as an accused in the case, claiming there was sufficient evidence against him.
In the nearly 3,000-page charge sheet, the police had named Tharoor as the only accused, while also alleging that he had subjected his wife to cruelty.
(With inputs from PTI.)