The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Bihar Government's order to transfer the probe in the case related to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput to CBI.
A single bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy held that Bihar police had jurisdiction to register FIR with respect to the suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput at the complaint of the actor's father, and held the transfer to CBI valid.
The Court has directed Maharashtra police to hand over the case files to CBI and to render necessary assistance.
"It is court ordered CBI investigation. Maharashtra police must comply and assist", ordered the bench.
The Court has also directed CBI to also look into any other cases registered in future in relation to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The Court, while invoking its plenary jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution has held that "if any other case is registered on the death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the surrounding circumstances of his unnatural death, the CBI is directed to investigate the new case as well".
Court, while taking note of both states are making acrimonious allegations of political interference against each other has observed that the "legitimacy of the investigation has come under a cloud".
"Such comments, responsible or otherwise, have led to speculative public discourse which have hogged media limelight. These developments unfortunately have the propensity to delay and misdirect the investigation. In such situation, there is reasonable apprehension of truth being a casualty and justice becoming a victim... When truth meets sunshine, justice will not prevail on the living alone but after Life's fitful fever, now the departed will also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate" - Supreme Court
While holding that the incidents referred to in the complaint indicate that the Mumbai Police possess the jurisdiction to undertake investigation on those circumstances, therefore in the event of a case being registered in Mumbai, the consent for the investigation by the CBI under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DPSE) Act can be competently given by Maharashtra Government, the Court said.
"The ongoing investigation by the CBI is held to be lawful. In the event a new case is registered at Mumbai on the same issue, in the fitness of things, it would be appropriate if the latter case too gets investigated by the same agency, on the strength of this Court's order. Such enabling order will make it possible for the CBI to investigate the new case, avoiding the rigors of Section 6 of the DSPE Act, requiring consent from the State of Maharashtra" - Supreme Court
Nothing To Show Any Wrong Doing By Mumbai Police; Probe By Agency Not Controlled By Both States Appropriate: SC
While approving the ongoing CBI investigation in the case related to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Supreme Court observed that there was nothing on record to prima facie suggest any "wrongdoing on the part of Mumbai police".
A single bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that the Mumbai police was carrying out a "limited inquiry" under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (inquiry process into unnatural death) and was yet to register an FIR under Section 154 CrPC in respect to the suicide of the actor.
Nothing to show any wrong doing by the Mumbai police, observes SC while handing over #SushantSingRajputDeathCase to CBI.Court also held that @MumbaiPolice had jurisdiction to investigate. But to avoid conflict, directed to hand over case to CBI.#CBIForSSR @Tweet2Rhea pic.twitter.com/V4pfTMLQ6M— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) August 19, 2020
Nothing to show any wrong doing by the Mumbai police, observes SC while handing over #SushantSingRajputDeathCase to CBI.Court also held that @MumbaiPolice had jurisdiction to investigate. But to avoid conflict, directed to hand over case to CBI.#CBIForSSR @Tweet2Rhea pic.twitter.com/V4pfTMLQ6M
[Sushant Singh Rajput] Nothing To Show Any Wrong Doing By Mumbai Police; Probe By Agency Not Controlled By Both States Appropriate: SC
No transfer of FIR under Section 406 CrPC
One of the issues considered by the court in this case was whether the Supreme Court has power to transfer investigation (not case or appeal) under Section 406 of the CrPC. To answer this issue, the judge referred to the decision in Ram Chander Singh Sagar vs. State of Tamil Nadu (1978) 2 SCC 35 in which it was held that the power under Section 406 CrPC does not clothe the Court with the power to transfer investigations from one police station to another in the country simply because the first information or a remand report is for warded to a Court.
To answer this issue, the judge referred to the decision in Ram Chander Singh Sagar vs. State of Tamil Nadu (1978) 2 SCC 35 in which it was held that the power under Section 406 CrPC does not clothe the Court with the power to transfer investigations from one police station to another in the country simply because the first information or a remand report is for warded to a Court. The judge observed:The Court passed the order while disposing Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty's plea seeking transfer of an FIR filed against her from Patna to Mumbai and the stay on the investigation by the Bihar police on the allegations of Sushant Singh Rajput's father that she abetted suicide of his actor son.
Sushant Singh Rajput Case: Why SC Upheld Jurisdiction Of Bihar Police To Register FIR?
A Single bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy had reserved orders after hearing Chakraborty, Bihar Government, Maharashtra Government, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) & Rajput's father on August 11.
Rajput, aged 34, was found dead in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14.
While Mumbai police was conducting proceedings with respect to unnatural death of the actor, Rajput's father lodged a complaint at the Rajeev Nagar Police Station in Patna against Chakraborty and five others on July 25. On the same day, the police lodged an FIR for an investigation into offences allegedly committed under Sections 341, 342, 380, 406, 420, 306, 506, and 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code.
While Senior Advocate Maninder Singh had argued that Bihar Government had jurisdiction to investigate into the late actor's death case in view of the FIR registered by his father in Patna and the CrPC, Maharashtra Government, represented by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi had denied the prevalence of jurisdiction of Bihar in this case. "This case is being sensationalised for political gains" Singhvi had said.
Rhea's lawyer Senior Advocate Shyam Divan had argued that Chakraborty had no qualms with the case being transferred to the CBI but not at the behest of executive orders of Bihar Government. "She loved him" Divan had pointed out, adding that the manner in which Chakraborty was being projected in the media and was being trolled by social media was abhorrent.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said that the investigation could be transferred to CBI as there was no investigation pending in two states, adding that Maharashtra Police had not even filed an FIR."Both Maharashtra & Bihar have made the perfect case for transfer to CBI" he said.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh who appeared for Sushant Singh's kin had urged the top court to hand over the case of the late actors' death to CBI.
Following arguments that lasted over 3 hours, the parties also filed their respective written submissions before the bench.
On August 5, when the plea had first come up for hearing before Top Court, the Centre informed had stated that it had accepted the Bihar Government's recommendation for a CBI probe into the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case. The bench had also refused to grant a stay to Chakraborty & had granted 3 days to all parties to file reply and sought an update from State of Maharashtra on the Investigation done by Mumbai Police.
The bench had added that allegations levelled against the accused actress were "serious" & that it was pertinent to proceed as per law, regardless of the sensation surrounding this "high profile case"
"Serious allegations have been levelled against Petitioner. She has applied for transfer of proceedings from Patna to Mumbai. Bihar has entrusted it to CBI. SG Mehta submits that Centre has accepted CBI probe request. Rajput was a talented artist who passed away under unusual circumstances. Now whether there is criminality involved needs to be investigated...now everyone has an opinion about high profile cases but we will proceed as per law." - Justice Hrishikesh Roy
The Bollywood actress had alleged that Rajput and she were in a live-in relationship till June 8 after which she left his home to shift to her own residence in Mumbai. She has also claimed that the Late actor was suffering from depression.
"Deceased was suffering from depression from some time and was also on anti-depressants and he committed suicide on the morning of June 14 at his Bandra residence by hanging himself." - Excerpt of Plea
The move came, four days after Rajput's father KK Singh lodged an FIR at Rajiv Nagar police station in Patna against Chakraborty and six others, including her family members, accusing them of abetting the actor's suicide.
In her plea, Chakraborty has also sought stay on probe by Bihar Police on the FIR lodged by Rajput's father till disposal of her plea in top court, Maneshinde said.
The move came four days after Rajput's father K K Singh lodged an FIR at Rajiv Nagar police station in Patna against Chakraborty and six others, including her family members, accusing them of abetting the actor's suicide.
The case in which Mumbai police had been busy quizzing Bollywood's big producers and directors like Mahesh Bhatt, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Aditya Chopra and others to know the reasons behind the untimely demise of the 34-year-old actor, suddenly took a new turn with Rajput's father lodging the FIR against his rumoured actor girlfriend Rhea and six other.
Rhea Chakraborty had also recorded her statement with the Mumbai police.
Several political leaders and film personalities have demanded a CBI probe into his death.
Rajput's suspected death by suicide has also triggered a debate on alleged nepotism and favouritism in the Hindi film industry.
Several top production houses had allegedly boycotted the Patna-born actor, causing him distress and compelling him to end his life
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