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CJI welcomes CBI probe into Sushant death

File photo of Rhea Chakraborty leaving Bandra police station after recording her statement in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case on June 18, 2020.

File photo of Rhea Chakraborty leaving Bandra police station after recording her statement in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case on June 18, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde on Friday greeted the news of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) taking over the investigation into the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput with a word of appreciation.

“CBI has taken over the investigation into the Patna case (based on a complaint of abetment to suicide filed by Rajput's father),” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the three-judge Bench led by the CJI.

 

“Good. And we are told that CBI has filed an FIR,” Chief Justice Bobde responded to Mr. Mehta.

The exchange happened during the hearing of a PIL filed by a law student seeking a CBI probe into the death. The court dismissed the PIL, saying the law student is a “total stranger” to the cause and Rajput’s father, K.K. Singh, is pursuing the case.

Bihar govt. justifies filing FIR

However, the hearing on Friday coincided with the Bihar government filing an affidavit to justify the decision of its police to register the case against another Bollywood actor, Rhea Chakraborty, and her family members. The State’s affidavit was filed in response to a separate plea by Ms. Chakraborty to transfer the case from Patna to Mumbai.

In a 58-page affidavit, Bihar said though Rajput died in Mumbai, the actor’s father suffered the consequence of the passing away of his “young and vibrant son” in Patna. It said an offence can be tried either at the place where it has been committed or where the consequence ensues.

The Nitish Kumar government said it recommended the case for transfer to CBI after preliminary investigation showed that evidence was in Mumbai and also spread across the country. The sensitivity of the case, the inter-State ramifications and the presence of the accused persons in Mumbai nudged the Bihar police chief to request a probe by a central agency like the CBI.

'Mumbai Police not cooperating'

The State said the Mumbai Police did not co-operate with a Bihar Police team sent there, “for reasons best known to them”. In fact, Vinay Tiwary, an IPS officer with the Bihar team, was forcibly quarantined on August 2. Even the Supreme Court’s view that confining a police officer does not send a good message did not convince the authorities to release him from quarantine.

“The forcible quarantine of Mr. Vinay Tiwary is nothing but a result of afterthought on part of Mumbai Police aimed at obstructing the investigation by the Patna Police which is amply clear from the fact that when the four members of the SIT went to Mumbai, they were not quarantined,” the affidavit said.

Bihar said Mumbai Police did not part with any of the necessary documents required for investigation into the circumstances of Rajput’s death, including as Inquest Report, post mortem report, FSL report, CCTV footage, etc.

“Mumbai Police has been making lame excuses that only Mumbai Police has jurisdiction to investigate the offence,” it said.

Bihar said “the case registered by the Mumbai Police was only one of ‘unnatural death’ which has a very limited scope”.

 

Bihar said Ms. Chakraborty has not shown any “substantial bias” against her to seek a transfer of the case to Mumbai. Hence, her transfer petition was not maintainable.

The State’s affidavit said Mr. Singh had accused Ms. Chakraborty and her family of coming into contact with Rajput, influencing, blackmailing and overdosing him, and finally siphoning off crores of his money.

Rajput was found dead in his Bandra apartment on June 14.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 12:14:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sushants-death-case-bihar-govt-seeks-dismissal/article32293131.ece

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