The Supreme Court has approved the ongoing investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. The Top Court has also upheld the Patna FIR and has asked Maharashtra to assist the probe. Maharashtra has been asked to hand over all the evidence in the case to CBI.
The Court also held that any future FIR, which is likely to be registered by the Mumbai police in furtherance of its inquiry process under Section 174 CrPC, should also be investigated by the CBI.
While invoking its plenary jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution, the top court's single-judge bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy held that a "fair, competent and impartial investigation is the need of the hour".
"His family, friends and admirers are keenly waiting the outcome of the investigation so that all the speculations floating around can be put to rest. Therefore a fair, competent and impartial investigation is the need of the hour. The expected outcome then would be, a measure of justice for the Complainant, who lost his only son"
This, the top court says would also ensure "public confidence", as speculations have been floating around and they can be put to rest with an impartial investigation into the late actor's death and would result in dissemination of the "real facts through unbiased investigation".
The Supreme Court observations also point to the fact that Rhea Chakraborty herself had called for a CBI investigation and to enunciate an impartial inquiry would also result in justice for the innocents who might be "target of vilification".
"In such backdrop, to ensure public confidence in the investigation and to do complete justice in the matter, this Court considers it appropriate to invoke the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Constitution. As a Court exercising lawful jurisdiction for the assigned roster, no impediment is seen for exercise of plenary power in the present matter" - Supreme Court
Investigations Cannot Be Transferred Invoking Powers Under Section 406 CrPC: SC [Read Judgment]
Note that 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.
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.
To ensure "public confidence" in the investigation, SC invokes powers under Art 142 of Constitution to order #CBI enquiry for Sushant Singh case & further orders that any future FIR registered on case will also be investigated by #CBI.#CBIForSSR #SushantSingRajputDeathCase pic.twitter.com/Wkxp2b2sHj— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) August 19, 2020
To ensure "public confidence" in the investigation, SC invokes powers under Art 142 of Constitution to order #CBI enquiry for Sushant Singh case & further orders that any future FIR registered on case will also be investigated by #CBI.#CBIForSSR #SushantSingRajputDeathCase pic.twitter.com/Wkxp2b2sHj
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
Also Read: Investigations Cannot Be Transferred Invoking Powers Under Section 406 CrPC: SC