Sushant Singh Rajput death case: CBI probe matches AIIMS find, no red flags in audit of accounts

So the CBI, sources said, is now focusing on the gamut of reasons that could have led to the actor taking his own life: any role played by Chakraborty; professional rivalry and nepotism in Bollywood; effect of drug abuse and Rajput’s mental health.

Sushant Singh Rajput died by suicide on June 14, 2020

The AIIMS report declaring the death of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput a “case of suicide” matches the conclusion the CBI’s investigators reached after their reconstruction of the incident. And a forensic audit of Rajput’s bank accounts has not thrown up anything “suspicious” to suggest that his friend Rhea Chakraborty could have pushed Rajput to suicide for financial gain, agency sources have confirmed to The Indian Express.

So the CBI, sources said, is now focusing on the gamut of reasons that could have led to the actor taking his own life: any role played by Chakraborty; professional rivalry and nepotism in Bollywood; effect of drug abuse and Rajput’s mental health.

Of the over Rs 70 crore worth of transactions through Rajput’s accounts in the past five years, only about Rs 55 lakh have been found to have been associated with Chakraborty. Most of these, sources said, were expenses on travel, spas and gifts.

“Chakraborty continues to be under scanner for abetment to suicide. But it is true CBI hasn’t yet found any motive for abetment. There was a forensic audit done of Rajput’s account. There is nothing concrete in the audit report to suggest that Chakraborty siphoned off funds and this led to the actor’s suicide. The expenses incurred by Rajput on her are comparatively small and can easily be explained as expenses on a friend. However, there are many angles to the suicide and our investigation is still on,” said an official privy to probe details.

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Actor Sushant Singh Rajput with Rhea Chakraborty.

Rajput’s father K K Singh, in the FIR registered by Bihar police, had alleged that Rs 15 crore had been siphoned off from the actor’s bank accounts and had blamed Chakraborty for it.

Sources said the AIIMS report confirms its own initial findings. After it took over the case in August on orders of the Supreme Court, the agency had taken its forensic team to Rajput’s Mumbai residence. The team had taken stock of the circumstances in which his body was found hanging and had re-created the scene with a life-size dummy.

“The crime scene recreation fit with the idea of a suicide. There was no evidence of forced entry, no signs of struggle (during a scuffle) on the body and initial forensic reports did not suggest poisoning or sedation. The circumstances pointed towards a suicide. But to be doubly sure, the matter was referred to a panel of doctors from AIIMS, which has now come to the same conclusion,” said the official.

The CBI, sources said, questioned over two dozen people in the case. These include Chakraborty and her family members; Rajput’s family members; his staff and house manager; staff at banks where he held accounts; his psychiatrist and some friends and acquaintances. The agency also questioned staff at a Pavna dam resort where Rajput had gone for a holiday.

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Bollywood actor Rhea Chakraborty after being arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with drugs-related allegations in the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, from NCB office at Ballard Estate, in Mumbai (PTI)

The agency has also probed the suicide of Rajput’s former manager Disha Salian who allegedly jumped off a building days before Rajput’s death. Salian’s death came under the CBI scanner as Rajput had Google-searched the incident of her death before allegedly killing himself.

Sources said the agency has found no concrete evidence of any connection between the two deaths.

As far as Rajput’s financial dealings are concerned, investigations have found that a major part of his expenses were on purchase of property, cars and bikes apart from salaries of staff, payments to PR agencies and taxes. He had once asked a bank staff for a change in access to his bank accounts but the reason for the same has not been ascertained yet.

Sources said the CBI is also investigating if professional reasons – any missed opportunities – could have triggered the suicide. But the agency is yet to question any producer or director in this connection.

“We are also looking at drug consumption and the impact it may or may not have had on the actor’s mental health. Whether the consumption was voluntary or part of a design as alleged by the actor’s family,” the official said.

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