SC reserves order on CBI probe; Bihar, Maha trade charges

3 months ago 33
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the contrasting pleas for CBI probe into the suicide of actor

Sushant Singh Rajput

even as Bihar and Maharashtra governments viciously traded charges while arguing for and against investigation by the central agency on Rhea Chakraborty's plea for transferring an FIR registered in


to Mumbai.
Before the hearing on Chakraborty's petition ended, Justice Hrishikesh Roy cut through the arguments advanced on behalf of Rajput's girlfriend and said, "You may be correct in saying that you have been a victim of media focus on the case, but your stand is that if CBI probe is ordered into the incident, you have no objection."
As the Bihar government and Rajput's father on one side traded charges with Maharashtra and Chakraborty on the other, solicitor general Tushar Mehta said it was a fit case for CBI probe as Mumbai police had not registered an FIR till now and had pre-emptively declared that it was a case of suicide.
"We do not know what is the role of Chakraborty in the case — witness, accused, complainant or nobody? Yet, she moves an application in the SC seeking transfer of the FIR to Mumbai. What is her interest in seeking transfer when she should be interested only in a fair probe irrespective of the agency which investigated the case," Mehta said.
On her behalf, senior advocate Shyam Divan said the Bihar government was politicising the case because of impending assembly elections and alleged that the FIR was registered in Patna without jurisdiction on the intervention of chief minister Nitish Kumar and minister

Sanjay Jha

"Politicisation and media trial of the case must stop to protect her (Chakraborty’s) right to privacy. There should be a fair investigation by a fair agency. The correct course under law is that the Patna FIR, lodged by Rajput's father, must be transferred to Mumbai and if Maharashtra government recommends, a CBI probe can take place," Divan said.
For the Bihar government, senior advocate Maninder Singh and standing counsel Keshav Mohan said Patna police took the correct step in registering an FIR as even after nearly two months, Mumbai police had not registered a case into the actor's death under “suspicious circumstances”. Singh said Mumbai police, at the behest of the Maharashtra government, was continuing with the inquiry based on an “accidental death” report and wondered who it was trying to protect by not registering an FIR for a proper investigation.
"Any inquiry under the accidental death report, as per the law laid down by the SC in several judgments, must come to an end with the post-mortem report, which in this case came on June 25. Since June 25, it was impermissible under law for Mumbai police to continue recording statements without registering an FIR," Singh said.
Appearing for Rajput's father, senior advocate Vikas Singh supported the Bihar government's stand and said, "Chakraborty had systematically cut off Rajput from his father and other family members. There were several injury marks on Rajput's body and yet, Mumbai police continue to float the story that it was a case of suicide."
For the Maharashtra government, senior advocate A M Singhvi said Rajput's father had not sent a written complaint to Mumbai police, which alone had jurisdiction over the incident. Bihar police had absolutely no jurisdiction over Rajput's death and by registering an FIR and then recommending CBI probe, it had gravely jeopardised the principle of federalism. He went on to question the jurisdiction and power of the SC's single judge bench to order a CBI probe into the incident.

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