Sushant case: Bihar, Maha slug it out in SC

| | New Delhi
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Sushant case: Bihar, Maha slug it out in SC

Wednesday, 12 August 2020 | PNS | New Delhi

Bihar and Maharashtra Governments sparred in the Supreme Court on Tuesday over jurisdiction to probe film star Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

While the late actor’s father told the Supreme Court that the Mumbai Police was not probing his son’s death “in the right direction” even as the Maharashtra Government contended that Bihar Police lacks jurisdiction in the actor’s alleged suicide case.

The submissions came before the apex court in response to a petition filed by actress Rhea Chakraborty, accused of abetting Rajput’s suicide, seeking transfer of the Bihar Police FIR against her and others to Mumbai police.

The Bihar Government submitted before the SC that the FIR lodged in Patna in the case is legal and valid and alleged that there is non-cooperation from Maharashtra.

The Bihar Government further contended that even Rajput’s post-mortem report was not given to Patna Police by Mumbai Police, and refuted the allegation of political pressure in the case.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Bihar Government, told the bench that no FIR has been lodged in Mumbai yet with regard to Rajput’s death.

Reserving verdict on Chakraborty’s plea, the SC asked all the related parties in the matter to file their written submissions, not more than two pages each, by August 13.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Maharashtra, told a bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy that there was complete lack of jurisdiction of Bihar in the case.

During the nearly three-hour hearing, Singhvi further said that he has never seen such sensationalization being attached to a transfer petition.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh representing Rajput’s father Krishna Kishore Singh said that his matter is only about a proper investigation of the case and according to him Mumbai Police were not investigating in the right direction.

Advocate Singh said the mark on Rajput’s neck does not appear to be of hanging and it appears to be of a belt. Singh said the family of the deceased has not seen the body hanging and what they had seen was his body lying on the bed.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that no FIR has been lodged in Mumbai and unless an FIR is lodged under section 154 of CrPC and the concerned magistrate is intimated, there cannot be any investigation.

Mehta said that in the absence of any investigation pending in Maharashtra, there is no question of transfer of investigation.

Mehta further said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was also probing certain matter in the case.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Chakraborty, told the bench that the FIR lodged by Rajput’s father has absolutely no connection with any offence in Patna.

Divan said there appears to be a considerable amount of State interference, influence and therefore apprehension of bias.

Referring to the timeline in the case, Divan said that there was a considerable delay of over 38 days in lodging of the FIR at Patna and all averments mentioned in the complaints are relatable to Mumbai. Divan further said that a huge parallel media trial is going on in the case.

The bench told Divan that in Chakraborty’s petition, there is a request related to the CBI investigation.

“It is another aspect how the CBI will come in,” the bench said.

Divan said he wanted a fair investigation by a fair investigating agency.

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