Tuesday, August 9, 2022

SSR death probe: Centre accepts Bihar govt’s demand for CBI intervention, informs SC

The Centre on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that it has accepted Bihar government’s recommendation for CBI intervention in the looming case of Sushant Singh Rajput’s apparent suicide.

Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, representing the Union of India informed the apex court of the Centre’s decision on August 5, as proceedings on actor Rhea Chakraborty’s petition, seeking transfer of probe in late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s suspected suicide from Bihar to Mumbai, were underway.

Chakraborty, who has been accused by the late actor’s father, KK Singh, for abetting Rajput’s suicide, in an FIR lodged against her last week with Bihar Police in Patna, claims her innocence. Her legal counsel and advocate, Satish Maneshinde, has also cited absence of jurisdiction of the Bihar Police in the matter, while senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing Chakraborty in the Supreme Court accused the state of Bihar and Rajput’s father of ‘connivance’ and destruction of the federal structure by interfering and seeking the CBI probe in an unlawful, backdoor manner. 

Also read: SSR death probe: Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer objects Bihar govt’s involvement

Also read: SSR probe: Bombay HC defers PIL seeking CBI inquiry due to heavy rains

Meanwhile, Senior Advocate R. Besant, appearing for the state of Maharashtra attempted to re-instate the focus of the hearing to the matter of jurisdiction in the case, as also raised by Rhea Chakraborty. Clearly, the matter seems to be getting acutely embroiled in an inter-state political conflict, now attemping resolution from a legal front.

Justice Hrishikesh Roy, who was leading the proceeding, asserted that while the case is high-profile, and the circumstances of Rajput’s death unusual and unprecedented, bound to stir public opinion, the court shall stick to the legal order of the day.

Consequently, Chakraborty’s counsel, Advocate Divan, sought for a protective order in her favour, to which Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, who was representing the Rajput family expressed his fears that crucial evidence in the case might be tampered with if a prospective protection was to be accorded to Rhea. He also slammed the BMC order to compulsorily home-quarantine senior IPS, Vinay Tiwari, leading the Bihar investigation team, and furthered the accusations on evidence distortion from Chakraborty’s end.

Justice Roy conceded that the order of forceful quarantine imposed on IPS Vinay Tiwari didn’t convey a positive message. He also asked the state of Maharahsra to ensure that the investigation is conducted professionally. This ensued a verbal banter between the representatives of the state of Bihar and the state of Maharashtra on the subject of jurisdiction.

The Solicitor General also requested the Supreme Court to make Centre a party to the case, to which the apex court asked him to file a separate application. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court directed all parties to file their replies within three days on the question of transfer of the case.

The Court adjourned the hearing till the next week. However, the court has not granted any stay on the ongoing investigation by the Bihar Police on the FIR incriminating Rhea Chakraborty in collaboration with the Mumbai Police.

Notably, deceased actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father has accused Rhea Chakraborty of financial swindling, emotional harassment, and finally, driving Rajput to the edge and abetting his suicide. Chakraborty, in response has claimed that she was in a live-in relationship with the late actor till June 8, after which she had temporarily moved to another residence. Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found hanging, in what is being alleged a case of suicide, in his Bandra apartment on June 14.

Also read: SSR death probe: IGP Patna writes to BMC, seeks release of SP Vinay Tiwari from ‘home quarantine’


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