MAHARASHTRA HOME Minister Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday said that the Mumbai Police would cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the Supreme Court approved the ongoing probe by the CBI into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
“The Supreme Court order says that the investigation carried out by the Mumbai Police was done in a professional manner. We welcome the judgment and will extend support to the CBI,” Deshmukh said.
Deshmukh, however, took a veiled swipe at the judgment for how it affected rights of states, saying the verdict should lead to discussion among constitutional experts over the federal structure of the Indian Union.
“The Constitution drafted by Dr B R Ambedkar speaks aboutthe concept of the federal structure. My belief is Constitution experts and thinkers need to readdress this in the near future,” Deshmukh said.
Citing a paragraph in the Supreme Court order, Deshmukh also did not rule out a parallel probe by the Mumbai Police into the case.
The Supreme Court order in para 34 says, “As noted earlier, the FIR at Patna was subsequently transferred to the CBI with consent of the Bihar government during pendency of this transfer petition. However, in future, if commission of cognizable offence Section 175(2) CrPC is determined, the possibility of parallel investigation by the Mumbai Police cannot be ruled out.”
The Supreme Court, however, added that in case the Mumbai Police registers an FIR, the same will be transferred to the CBI as well.
Deshmukh said that the Opposition had politicised the issue and said the investigation should be guided by facts.
Senior officers of the Mumbai Police told The Indian Express that the inquiry being carried out by the Bandra police into the suicide of Rajput is likely to continue. But a senior officer said they would also consult lawyers and senior government officials to confirm their interpretation of the relevant portion of the court order.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said, “The Supreme Court has expressed satisfaction at the probe conducted by the Mumbai Police. It was a professional investigation done by the team.”
Meanwhile on the issue of being castigated by the SC for quarantine enforced on Bihar Police officials in Mumbai, the Mumbai Police passed the buck to the BMC. “The only thing that the court order holds against the Mumbai Police was that the Bihar IPS officer who came to the city to investigate the matter was asked to go into quarantine. This was, however, a decision taken by the BMC following the Covid guidelines and had nothing to do with the Mumbai Police,” an officer said.
After the Supreme Court order, Maharashtra’s Home Minister held a series of meetings with senior police officers and bureaucrats. An officer said that one of the issues discussed was whether the Bandra police should continue with its own inquiry into the ADR.
On June 14, the Mumbai Police had registered an ADR after Rajput was found dead at his Bandra residence and is carrying out an inquiry under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code related to unnatural deaths. The police have so far recorded 56 statements of various film personalities and associates and employees of Rajput and maintain they have found no evidence of foul play.
Film directors Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Aditya Chopra, critic Rajeev Masand and co-stars were among those who made statements. The probe included forensic analysis of his phone, other electronic belongings found in his home. After allegations of money transfers to unknown accounts from Rajput’s bank account, the Mumbai Police also got a forensic audit firm to analyse his and Rhea Chakraborty’s accounts. The audit found no fraud or embezzlement, according to the police.
After the verdict, advocate Satish Maneshinde representing Chakraborty said that the “truth will remain the same whichever agency investigates the case”.
“The Supreme Court after examining the facts and circumstances of the case and the report of the Mumbai Police has observed that it will be the desired justice as Rhea herself called for a CBI investigation,” Maneshinde said.
On July 16, Chakraborty had herself asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to initiate a CBI inquiry stating that she wants to understand what ‘pressures’ prompted Sushant to take this step.
“The court also observed that due to the allegations made by the two states of political interference against each other, it would be in the interest of justice to hand over the case to the CBI,” Maneshinde further said. The additional affidavit filed by Chakraborty in the Supreme Court had referred to ‘political pressure’ being the reason behind the FIR being filed in Bihar.
Maneshinde added that Chakraborty will appear before the CBI as she had done earlier with the Mumbai Police and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). So far, Chakraborty has appeared twice before the ED this month when she was questioned along with her father Indrajit and brother Showik.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines