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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sushant death case: SC reserves order in Rhea Chakraborty plea to transfer FIR to Mumbai

In Tuesday's hearing, both the Bihar and Maharashtra governments accused each other of doing politics over Rajput's death.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | August 12, 2020 1:27:55 am
Sushant Singh Rajput’s sister Mitu Singh at the ED office in Mumbai on Tuesday. (Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on actor Rhea Chakraborty’s plea to transfer to Mumbai the FIR filed in Patna in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.

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.

In Tuesday’s hearing, both the Bihar and Maharashtra governments accused each other of doing politics over Rajput’s death.

“Political pressure is in Maharashtra and not in Bihar…Mumbai Police did not give us any documents… They are not cooperating… What are they fearing in this case?” Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Bihar, told a single-judge bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy.

Vehemently objecting to remarks in an affidavit filed by Maharashtra that the “Chief Minister of Bihar is reported to be responsible for registration of FIR in Patna”, the senior advocate said the “state of Bihar very consciously avoided saying anything about Maharashtra”.

Senior Advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Maharashtra, countered this and said, “I can assure you once a certain election is over, this will not even be discussed …in a state anxiously clutching at straws today”.

The case is not about any state but “much larger issue about how federalism is sought to be subverted”, Singhvi submitted and added that the “murder of CrPC is being attempted here”. He contended that there is “grandstanding by every anchor, commentator, lawyer, non-lawyer….”

Singhvi pointed out that Bihar’s affidavit says that Rajput belonged to the state and that the investigation was transferred to the CBI as evidence and witnesses may be scattered in Mumbai or across the country.

“Have your Lordships seen a prosecuting state so desperate to take charge of prosecution?” Singhvi asked, pointing out that no complaint was ever lodged in Mumbai in the case.

Appearing for Rajput’s father K K Singh, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh said, “If I go to them (Mumbai Police), they would have filed a closure report and ended it. After mourning, I realised the case is not going anywhere and decided to complain.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, referred to the Maharashtra affidavit stating that Mumbai Police had recorded statements of 56 witnesses and none of them have a doubt about Rajput committing suicide. “It is foregone conclusion by one agency that it was suicide which they are now trying to press before highest court of the land by saying statements of 56 persons recorded,” he contended.

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