The Bihar Government has filed its written submissions before Top Court in the petition filed by Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty seeking transfer of FIR registered against her by Sushant't father from Patna to Mumbai.
Alleging that the Mumbai Police has adopted a lackadaisical approach towards the Sushant Singh Rajput Death case and has not even registered an FIR, the Bihar Government has submitted that registration of an FIR was mandated upon the police officer in terms of the CrPC section 154.
"When any cognizable offence is disclosed to any police officer, it is mandatory for the police officer to register the FIR and proceed with investigation" - Bihar Govt.
The Bihar Government has further reiterated in its written submissions as it had also argued on Tuesday that the proceedings initiated by the Mumbai Police are only inquest proceedings under sections 174 and 175 of CrPC which are for purposes of ascertaining the cause of death. "The proceedings come to an end on ascertaining the "cause of death" and in any case, when the post-mortem report is received. In the present case, on receipt of the post-mortem report by Mumbai Police on 25.06.2020, the proceedings u/s 174 / 175Cr.P.C. came to a close" states Bihar.
Following this, if the Mumbai Police were to undertake any investigation, it was required to register an FIR first and then proceed with investigation, the Submissions by Bihar Government stipulate.
Averring that the the Mumbai Police has only been carrying out a "so-called" investigation which is not legal or valid as envisaged under CrPC, Bihar Government has stated that sans an FIR, there is no provision under which the Mumbai Police is examining the 56 persons & that, "any such exercise claimed by Mumbai Police without registration of FIR is ex-facie - entirely without jurisdiction".
On the aspect of jurisdiction of the Bihar Police, more specifically Rajeev Nagar P.S., Patna, where the Late Actor's kin filed an FIR against Chakraborty, the Bihar Government states that precedents put forth that "the Station House Officer is obliged to register the FIR and carry out the investigation expeditiously" & that there exists no "embargo" on a police officer basis territorial jurisdiction to carry out investigation.
Thus, the Bihar Government states that carrying out investigation is well within its jurisdiction and inaction by the Mumbai Police of non-registration of FIR is inexplicable and "contrary to law" and is on account of "political pressure"
"At the stage of investigation, it cannot be said that the SHO does not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate the case. Any contention that the IO did not have jurisdiction to do so on the face of it deserves to be rejected. Section 156(2) contains an embargo that no proceeding of a police officer shall be challenged on the ground that he has no territorial power to investigate.... The action of the Bihar Police in registering the FIR on 25.07.2020 and undertaking the investigation is not only within its jurisdiction but the discharge of such an obligation by it, is also entirely valid and legal. Simultaneously, on the other hand, non-registration of an FIR by Mumbai Police is not only entirely inexplicable but is also contrary to law" - Bihar Govt.
The written submissions also highlight that the 4 member SIT which had reached Mumbai on July 27 with advance intimation were not extended cooperation by the Maharashtra Government and were not given any documents including copies of inquest. Further to this, Vinay Tiwari, IPS who had "who had reached Mumbai on 02.08.2020, with advance intimation to Mumbai Police – was virtually kept detained in the name of "quarantine" [ when admittedly, the 4-member SIT of Bihar Police officers had not been quarantined when they had reached Mumbai on 27.07.2020 ] and was not allowed to discharge his duties for the conduct of investigation. The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Bihar had requested Mumbai authorities for removal of quarantine of Mr. Vinay Tiwari, IPS, however, the same had been unfortunately disregarded by them".
The prayer by Chakraborty to transfer the case has been rebutted by Bihar Govt. to state that section 406 of the CrPC provides for transfer of the case and not for transfer of the investigation.
"In the light of the facts of the present case, the transfer petition filed by the Petitioner is not maintainable. In Ram Chander Singh Sagar (Dr). Vs. The State of Tamil Nadu &Anr - (1978) 2 SCC 35, this Hon'ble Court has held that there is no power in this Hon'ble Court to transfer case during investigation stage"
The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its orders in the plea filed by Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty.
The Court had also asked all parties to submit a written note by Thursday, August 13.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy heard all parties involved, who had complied with the Court's August 5 Order, directing them to file their responses within 3 days to Chakraborty's plea to transfer the case.
The State of Maharashtra had also filed its report regarding the status of the investigation in a sealed cover.
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