Law Minister Calls Shashi Tharoor “Murder Accused”, Gets Legal Notice

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Shashi Tharoor has given Ravi Shankar Prasad 48 hours to apologise for calling him "murder accused"

New Delhi:

Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor has sent a legal notice to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad seeking an "unconditional apology" for calling him a "murder accused". Posting his legal notice on Twitter, Mr Tharoor called the law minister's statement "false, malicious and defamatory".

"When India's Law Minister falsely invents a murder case against a political opponent, what hope for justice & democracy?" he wrote on Twitter.

The notice points out that the prosecution in the Sunanda Puskhar case hasn't accused Mr Tharoor of murder.

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"You are well aware that in the ongoing criminal case against Shashi Tharoor in relation to the death of his late wife Sunanda Pushkar, the offence alleged by the prosecution against him is not that of murder and the trial court is yet to frame any charges against him," read the legal notice sent by law firm Suraj Krishna and Associates on behalf of Mr Tharoor.

"Even the police charge sheet against Shashi Tharoor does not contain any allegations of murder. Your purposeful comment that Shashi Tharoor is chargesheeted in a serious allegation of murder seems to have some oblique motives," it added.

Accusing Mr Prasad of defaming Mr Tharoor, the notice said, "In the above circumstances, you have clearly committed the offence of defamation for which you are liable to be tried before a court of law".

The Congress leader has also demanded that videos of the law minister making these remarks must be taken down from social media.

"You are hereby called upon to tender an unconditional and written apology within 48 hours of the receipt of this notice for making such an untrue, false and baseless imputation against Shashi Tharoor… to avoid the consequences of a litigation," it said.

Sunanda 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 Shashi Tharoor's official bungalow was being renovated at that time.

Shashi 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.

(With inputs from IANS)

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