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Sushant Probe: All eyes on SC today; Patna IG asks four other probe team members to stay indoors

The Mumbai Police, too, has filed a caveat before the SC, seeking that it be heard before an order is passed.

Written by Mohamed Thaver , Srinath Rao | Mumbai | August 5, 2020 2:52:01 am
Sushant Probe, Patna IG, Rhea Chakraborty, Mumbai news, Indian express news Sushant Singh Rajput

The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty seeking that the FIR registered against her by the Bihar Police be transferred to Mumbai Police under whose jurisdiction actor Sushant Singh Rajput (34) had died by suicide on June 14.

The Mumbai Police, too, has filed a caveat before the SC, seeking that it be heard before an order is passed.

This comes amid Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recommending to the Centre that the FIR registered by Rajput’s father in Patna be transferred to the CBI for a probe. Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has also made the same demand.

The Bihar Police had last week registered an FIR against Chakraborty, her family members and others on the charge of abetment to suicide.

Responding to Kumar’s call for a CBI probe, Chakraborty’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde said in a statement, “The petition filed by Rhea Chakraborty in SC… that Bihar Police has no jurisdiction to investigate the case, will continue to be heard. A case, in which the Bihar Police has got no legal basis to get involved, cannot be transferred to the CBI. At the most, (what could have been registered in Bihar) is a Zero FIR transferable to the Mumbai Police.”

He added, “The transfer of a case, on which Bihar Police had no jurisdiction, to the CBI, has no legal sanctity. Having realised that Bihar has no jurisdiction, this illegal method has been adopted. Otherwise, you are interfering in the federal structure of our nation by taking the backdoor route.”

A senior Mumbai Police officer said they will hear what the Bihar Police has to say in the SC and “will play it by the ear”. The officer, however, added that in the past, both Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had said that the Mumbai Police was capable enough to investigate the case and there was no need for a CBI probe.

The Mumbai Police’s contention is that the Bihar police should have registered a “zero FIR” and transferred the case to it.

Meanwhile, a day after IPS officer Vinay Tiwari, sent to Mumbai to monitor the investigation by the Bihar Police team, was quarantined till August 15, four other members of his team were asked to stay indoors by the Patna inspector general of police on Monday.

Tiwari’s “selective quarantine” led IG Sanjay Singh, his superior officer, to write to BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, seeking a clarification on why the IPS officer on special duty has been quarantined.

“Until the BMC replies and in light of the hearing in the Supreme Court, I have ordered the other members of the investigation team on Monday also to stay indoors. They are not in home quarantine, only the BMC can decide that,” he said. Singh added that no one from the BMC has contacted the four policemen since they arrived in Mumbai on July 27.

At the centre of the row are the opposite statements given by Rajput’s father K K Singh to the police forces of the two states. Soon after the suicide, Singh and other family members had told the Mumbai Police that they do not suspect foul play and had no complaint against anyone.

However, later, Singh approached the police in Patna and gave a statement against Chakraborty, her family and others, for allegedly abetting Rajput’s suicide and transferring money from his account, among other things, drawing the Enforcement Directorate to investigate alleged money laundering.

However, in a video statement on Monday, Singh had said that he had approached the Patna Police as the Mumbai Police did not act on his earlier complaint, filed on February 25, about a “threat” to the actor’s life. Reacting to the statement, the Mumbai Police had said no written complaint had been filed in February.

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane on Tuesday alleged that Rajput was “murdered”. “There are enough indications and circumstantial evidence is pointing to a cover up. The Mumbai Police is working under pressure to help some high-profile politician and minister,” he told mediapersons. He also alleged that Rajput’s former manager Disha Salian was raped and killed.

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