Bihar lacks jurisdiction in Sushant death case, Maharashtra tells SC; father questions probe direction

The top court asked the parties concerned to file their written submissions, not more than two pages each, by August 13 in the case.

Published: 11th August 2020 07:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2020 09:03 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Bihar Police lacks jurisdiction in Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide case, the Maharashtra government told the Supreme Court on Tuesday, while the late actor's father claimed that Mumbai Police was not probing the matter "in the right direction".

The Bihar government told the top court that the FIR lodged in Patna in the case is legal and valid and alleged that there is non-cooperation from Maharashtra.

It said that even Rajput's postmortem report was not given to Patna Police by Mumbai Police, and refuted the allegation of political pressure in the case.

Reserving verdict on actress Rhea Chakraborty's plea, seeking transfer to Mumbai of the FIR lodged in Patna against her for allegedly abetting the suicide, the top court asked the parties concerned to file their written submissions, not more than two pages each, by August 13 in the case.

During the nearly 3-hour hearing, a bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy was told by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Maharashtra, that there was complete lack of jurisdiction of Bihar in the case.

Singhvi further said that he has never seen such sensationalisation being attached to a transfer petition and no complaint has been made out by Rajput's father who has filed the FIR against Rhea in Patna.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Rajput's father Krishna Kishore Singh, said that his matter is only about proper investigation of the case and according to him Mumbai Police was not investigating in the right direction.

He said the mark on Rajput's neck does not appear to be of hanging and it appears to be of a belt.

Singh said the family of the deceased has not seen the body hanging and what they had seen was his body lying on the bed.

  Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that no FIR has been lodged in Mumbai and unless an FIR is lodged under section 154 of CrPC and the concerned magistrate is intimated, there cannot be any investigation.

He said that in the absence of any investigation pending in Maharashtra, there is no question of transfer of investigation.

Mehta said the Enforcement Directorate was also probing certain matter in the case.

At the outset, senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Chakraborty, told the bench that the FIR lodged by Rajput's father has absolutely no connection with any offence in Patna.

  He said there appears to be considerable amount of state interference, influence and therefore apprehension of bias.

  Divan referred to the timeline in the case and said that there was considerable delay of over 38 days in lodging of the FIR at Patna.

He referred to the complaint made by Rajput's father to police in Patna and said that all averments mentioned in the complaint are relatable to Mumbai.

The senior lawyer said that Mumbai Police had recorded statements of 56 persons in the case and the probe has proceeded quite substantially.

Divan said that a huge parallel media trial is going on in the case.

The bench told Divan that in Chakraborty's petition, there is a request related to the CBI investigation.

“It is another aspect how the CBI will come in,” it said.

Divan said he wanted a fair investigation by a fair investigating agency.

He said there are considerable issues on how Bihar had recommended for a CBI probe and how subsequent orders were issued.

"I (Rhea) stand by what I have stated in my petition and my additional affidavit,” he said.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Bihar, told the bench that no FIR has been lodged in Mumbai yet with regard to Rajput's death and refuted the allegation of political pressure, bias and influence made by the actress.

He strongly refuted the allegation that FIR was lodged at Patna at the behest of Bihar Chief minister.

He also referred to quarantining of senior police officer from Bihar in Mumbai.

  On August 5, the top court had said that the truth behind the “unfortunate” death of the "gifted and talented artist" should come out.

The Centre had apprised it of having accepted the Bihar government's recommendation for a CBI probe in the matter.

The top court had directed Rajput's father as also Bihar and Maharashtra to respond within three days to the plea of the Bollywood actress.

  Mumbai Police, which has recorded the statements of 56 persons so far in the case, will have to apprise the top court about the progress made by it in the investigation.

Rajput, 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14 and since then Mumbai Police has been probing the case keeping in mind various angles.

  The police has recorded the statements of 56 persons including Bollywood directors like Aditya Chopra, Mahesh Bhatt and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The FIR in Patna has been registered against Chakraborty and others for alleged offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 306 (abetment of suicide), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property).


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