The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case and asked Maharashtra to assist with the probe. The Mumbai Police will now hand over all the evidence collected in the case so far to the investigating agency.
The top court also upheld the FIR registered in Patna by Sushant’s father K K Singh. “FIR registered at Patna was correct and reference to CBI is lawful. The Bihar government is competent enough to transfer case to CBI for investigation,” Justice Hrishikesh Roy said.
The bench further said, “The state of Maharashtra refused the option to challenge the order and that the jurisdiction of the Mumbai Police conducting probe under Section 174 CrPC (enquire on suicide) is limited.” “If any other case is registered regarding Sushant’s death, the same shall be probed by CBI only,” the court added.
The court was hearing a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty to transfer to Mumbai the FIR filed in Patna in connection with the case. Rhea had moved the apex court after Patna police lodged an FIR on Sushant’s father’s complaint, accusing her and five others of abetment to suicide, cheating, criminal breach of trust, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.
Reacting to the verdict, Singh’s lawyer Vikas Singh said this is a victory for Sushant’s family. “This is a victory for Sushant Singh Rajput’s family. SC ruled on all points in our favour. The Court also clearly said that the FIR registered at Patna was correct,” ANI quoted Vikas Singh as saying.
He further said, “SC also said that any other FIR registered in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death will also be investigated by the CBI. We hope that we should get justice very soon. The family is very happy with the verdict.”
in her affidavit, Rhea has said that Bihar Police had no jurisdiction in the case, while Sushant’s father had contended that Bihar Police “clearly had jurisdiction” to register the FIR because the part of the cause of action happened at Patna, as during the lifetime of the actor, “the father’s attempt to talk to him on telephone from Patna was thwarted by the accused persons by not letting him talk to him, which could have saved his son’s life”. Rhea has also maintained that she had no problem with the CBI inquiry.
On August 11, the top court had reserved its verdict on the petition. During the hearing, both the Bihar and Maharashtra governments had accused each other of doing politics over Rajput’s death.
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Bihar, had told a single-judge bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy that “Political pressure is in Maharashtra and not in Bihar…Mumbai Police did not give us any documents… They are not cooperating… What are they fearing in this case?”
The advocate had vehemently objected to remarks in an affidavit filed by Maharashtra that the “Chief Minister of Bihar is reported to be responsible for registration of FIR in Patna”, and had said the “state of Bihar very consciously avoided saying anything about Maharashtra”.
On the other hand, Senior Advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Maharashtra, countered this and said, “I can assure you once a certain election is over, this will not even be discussed …in a state anxiously clutching at straws today”. The case is not about any state but “much larger issue about how federalism is sought to be subverted”, Singhvi submitted and added that the “murder of CrPC is being attempted here”. He contended that there is “grandstanding by every anchor, commentator, lawyer, non-lawyer….”
Also, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, had referred to the Maharashtra affidavit stating that Mumbai Police had recorded statements of 56 witnesses and none of them have a doubt about Rajput committing suicide. “It is foregone conclusion by one agency that it was suicide which they are now trying to press before highest court of the land by saying statements of 56 persons recorded,” he contended.
On August 5, the Supreme Court had taken up Chakraborty’s petition, saying “whether there is any criminality in the situation is the matter to be investigated”.
Meanwhile, a notification has been issued by the Department of Personnel and Training paving way for CBI probe in Sushant’s death.
Rajput, aged 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14.