The Bombay High Court on Friday deferred the hearing in two Public Interest Litigations seeking CBI probe into the unnatural death of the actor Susahnt Singh Rajput, till August 21, observing that it is not appropriate to express an opinion in the case as the transfer petition is pending before Supreme Court and will be heard on August 18.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the bench of Chief Justice Diapbkar Datta and Justice AS Gadkari that on acceptance of the request of the father of the deceased 34-year-old actor, CBI has already registered an FIR,under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code against actress Rhea Chakrobortry and five others.
However, ASG Singh questioned the approach of the Mumbai Police in quarantining an IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, who had come to Mumbai for the purpose of ascertaining facts, although four other officers of Bihar Police who had earlier visited Mumbai were not meted out such treatment, Singh said.
"To unearth the truth, the State ought not to stand in the way of investigation by the CBI", ASG Singh asserted.
Advocate General of Maharashtra AA Kumbhakoni submitted that a writ petition seeking similar relief was moved before the Supreme Court, but the same has been dismissed by an order dated July 30, 2020. Although, state has not been served a copy of the said writ petition prior to the same being dismissed therefore, I am not in position to place such writ petition before the Court, AG Kumbhakoni said. But he assured the Court that the same will be placed before the bench prior to the next date.
Court enquired from one of the petitioners, Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer practising before the Calcutta High Court, as to whether she has a copy of the writ petition. She denied having a copy but submitted that while dismissing the writ petition, the Supreme Court granted the petitioner liberty to move this Court.
AG Kumbhakoni also informed the Court about an order of the Supreme Court dated August 5, 2020 passed by the Supreme Court in Transfer Petition filed by Rhea Chakroborty. After perusing through the order, Court observed-
"It appears to be a proceeding connected with the unnatural death of the same actor. Perusal of such order, inter alia, reveals that a status report has been called for from the State of Maharashtra in regard to the stage of investigation by Mumbai Police. Although there is a direction for listing the Transfer Petition in the next week, a document has been placed on record by Mr. Kumbhakoni suggesting that the same would be listed next on August 18, 2020."
Finally the bench observed-
"The CBI has registered an FIR. We do not consider it appropriate, at this stage, to express our opinion either way. It would be just and proper to await the orders of the Supreme Court in the pending Transfer Petition, referred to above. Since such petition is likely to be taken up for consideration by the Supreme Court on August 18, 2020, we defer hearing of these PIL petitions till August 21, 2020."
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