August 18, 2020 8:24:08 pm
The Supreme Court will pronounce its judgment on Wednesday on actor Rhea Chakraborty’s petition to transfer to Mumbai the FIR filed in Patna in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. The top court had on August 11 reserved its order on Rhea’s petition.
Rajput, 34, was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14. Patna police registered an FIR against Chakraborty and five others, accusing them of abetment to suicide, cheating, criminal breach of trust, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.
The Supreme Court had taken up Chakraborty’s petition for transfer of the case to Mumbai on August 5, saying “whether there is any criminality in the situation is the matter to be investigated”.
In her affidavit, Chakraborty had stated that Rajput hailed from Bihar, and his death was being used ahead of the elections in the state. Opposing Bihar Police’s move to transfer the case to CBI, she said the “transfer has been undertaken solely with the motive of rendering” her petition “infructuous”. She added that she had no problem if the SC transferred the case to CBI.
Chakraborty maintained that Bihar Police had no jurisdiction in the case. “Section 177 of CrPC categorically states that the case should be investigated into and be dealt with by the court where the offence has been committed. Even on a reading of the FIR, no part of the offence has taken place in Bihar…. CrPC has been misconstrued to usurp jurisdiction in Bihar under political pressure,” she contended.
Rajput’s father K K Singh contended that Bihar Police “clearly had jurisdiction” to register the FIR because the part of the cause of action happened at Patna, as during the lifetime of the actor, “the father’s attempt to talk to him on telephone from Patna was thwarted by the accused persons by not letting him talk to him, which could have saved his son’s life”.
The Centre, on the other hand, told the Supreme Court that statements of witnesses said to have been recorded by Mumbai Police in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput death case have “no validity or legal sanctity”, as the state is yet to file an FIR in the matter.
“The Maharashtra Police in its affidavit has said that it has collected statements of 56 persons. In view of the admitted position that there is no FIR registered, and the police officer is merely discharging functions under Section 174 [of CrPC], such statements have no validity or legal sanctity and are non-est [nonexistent],” the Centre stated in its written submissions.
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