From 2014 to Now, Here’s a Timeline of the Sunanda Pushkar Case

With Shashi Tharoor summoned by the Delhi HC as an accused in her murder, a look at the case’s 4-year progression.

3 min read

A Delhi court, on 5 June, summoned Congress leader Shashi Tharoor as an accused in the case related to his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death and asked him to appear before it on 7 July, saying there were sufficient grounds to proceed against him.

Here is the chronology of one of the most mysterious and controversial death cases in recent times:

16 January 2014: Sunanda Pushkar called out Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter over the latter’s alleged affair with Shashi Tharoor.

With Shashi Tharoor  summoned by the Delhi HC as an accused in her murder, a look at the case’s 4-year progression.

17 January 2014: Sunanda Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances at Delhi's Leela PaFBIlace hotel. Suspicion of suicide and the possibility of drug overdose, both were being investigated owing to her medical history, according to The Indian Express.

19 January 2014: The doctors who conducted Pushkar’s postmortem said she had a dozen injury marks on her hands and an abrasion on her cheek, as per the TIE report. They mentioned that an anti-anxiety drug Aprazolam were present in her body in “nominal traces” and that there were “no findings suggestive of drug overdose”.


21 January 2014: The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) who was heading the inquest says Pushkar died of poisoning.

23 January 2014: The probe into the death of Pushkar transferred to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.

On the same day, traces of two medicines – Alprazolam, an anti-depressant and Excedrin, a painkiller – were found in her body, aaccording to TIE report.

25 January 2014: The case was transferred back to Delhi Police.

2 July 2014: Dr Sudhir Gupta, an AIIMS doctor who was leading the panel that conducted Pushkar’s post-mortem, alleged that he was being pressurised to alter the autopsy report, according to TIE.

30 September 2014: Viscera report submitted by AIIMS doctor to Delhi Police.

1 January 2015: The then Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi concluded that Pushkar’s death was caused by murder and not suicide. Delhi police registers FIR against unknown persons under the section of 302 (murder).

15 January 2015: Delhi Police receives AIIMS medical board's advice on the US FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) lab report on Pushkar’s viscera samples to identify the cause of her death.

Her viscera samples were sent to the FBI lab in Washington DC in February 2015 to determine the kind of poison that killed her after an AIIMS medical board identified poisoning as the reason behind her death, but did not mention any specific substance.

The FBI report virtually ruled out the theory of 'polonium poisoning' having caused her death.

November 2015: Delhi police seeks the help of journalist Nalini Singh who was allegedly on of the last persons to speak to Pushkar. The Indian Express report said, quoting reports, that Pushkar had allegedly asked Singh’s help to retrieve BBM messages between Shashi Tharoor and Tarar.

February, 2016: Shashi Tharoor questioned by a Special Investigation Team of Delhi Police. He said Pushkar died of a drug overdose.

March 2016: Mehr Tarar meets a senior officer after coming to Delhi, and denies any connection or knowledge of Pushkar’s death, reported TIE.

6 July 2017: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy moves Delhi High Court for SIT probe into Sunanda Pushkar's death.

26 October 2017: HC dismisses Swamy's plea, saying his PIL was a textbook example of a ‘political interest litigation’.

29 January 2018: Swamy moves the Supreme Court asking for a SIT probe and alleges that there was a one-year delay for the Delhi Police to lodge an FIR in the case.

23 February 2018: SC seeks reply of Delhi Police on Swamy's plea.

20 April 2018: Delhi Police, in its affidavit filed in the apex court, says a draft final report has been prepared after conducting "thorough professional and scientific investigations" in the case.

14 May 2018: Delhi Police files chargesheet in the case.

24 May 2018: Case transferred to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court, a special designated court to try politicians.

28 May 2018: Court reserves order on whether to summon Tharoor is an accused in the case.

5 June 2018: Court summons Tharoor as accused in Sunanda Pushkar’s case, says there are sufficient grounds to proceed against him.

(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express)

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