Other States

We accept Bihar request for CBI probe into Sushant Rajput death, Centre tells Supreme Court

Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. File

Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it has agreed to accept Bihar government’s recommendation to let the CBI probe the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

But the Maharashtra government countered the Centre before a Single Bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy, saying the case is being used to score political brownie points.

Maharashtra questioned the jurisdiction of the Bihar government to even recommend a CBI investigation in the first place, saying the cause of action (Rajput’s death) happened in Mumbai.

Complete jurisdiction

“Mumbai police have complete jurisdiction to file an FIR. An FIR for unnatural death has been registered in Mumbai... The father [of Rajput] did not approach the Mumbai police. He filed in Patna. Please find out if there is any cause of action to register an FIR in Patna,” challenged senior advocate R. Basant, for Maharashtra.

At one point, the Maharashtra government asked why Bihar chose to act with such alacrity to transfer the FIR to the CBI from its own police.

The Maharashtra government said its police are doing a “professional job” in probing the death. There is no question of destruction of evidence as alleged by Rajput’s father.

“How can somebody who has never approached the Mumbai police say it has not done a good job. This is purely a political case,” Mr. Basant submitted.

Maharashtra said federalism demands that the State where the incident occurs should investigate it. Incident cannot happen in one State, FIR filed in another and a Central agency brought in to do the probe, Mr. Basant argued.

Justice Roy said the court would decide according to the law. The court however told Maharashtra that quarantining the Bihar police team in Mumbai when all eyes are on the case does not send a good message.

Rhea Chakraborty’s plea

The court is hearing a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty to transfer an FIR filed against her by Rajput’s family from Bihar to Mumbai.

The Bench ordered the Maharashtra government to file a status report on the probe in three days. It asked all the parties to file their replies to Ms. Chakraborty’s plea. It scheduled a hearing for next week.

“He [Rajput] was a talented artist who passed away under unusual circumstances. Now whether there is criminality involved or not needs to be investigated. Everyone has an opinion on sensational cases, but we will proceed in accordance with law,” Justice Roy said.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, for Ms. Chakraborty, said the petition has been filed because the Bihar police have sent a team to Mumbai. Several statements have been recorded. Mr. Divan urged the court for an order of interim protection.

However, senior advocate Vikas Singh, for Rajput’s family, objected. Mr. Singh said there is a possibility of destruction of evidence.

“Assure us that everything is being done in accordance with the law,” Justice Roy addressed Maharashtra.

“I will show that everything is being done proficiently. The Mumbai police are doing a professional job. There is no question of any destruction of evidence,” Mr. Basant replied.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 10:28:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/accepted-bihars-recommendation-for-cbi-probe-into-sushant-singh-rajput-death-case-centre-to-sc/article32274406.ece

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