The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it has accepted the Bihar Government's recommendation for a CBI probe into the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case.
A bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy refused to grant a stay in the 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. The bench 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 added,
"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."
Senior Advocate Shyam Divan appeared for Rhea Chakraborthy and submitted that an Application under S. 406 had been filed as they sought to transfer the FIR registered in Bihar, along with protection against coercive actions against Petitioner.
Sr. Adv. Vikas Singh, appearing for the family of Sushant Singh, opposed the plea for stay of the investigation by saying :
"As per S. 174 of CrPC, only Bihar Police has the authority to investigate here, and not Mumbai as no cognisance cases have been registered in Maharashtra. How is it that the entire Bollywood film industry is being called for questioning by the Mumbai, but the person who lowered body from ceiling has been allowed to go to Hyderabad ?"
The bench also criticised the Mumbai Police for putting Bihar police officer in quarantine, saying "it did not send the right signal".
Rhea has averred in her plea that the FIR in Patna filed by the Late Actor's father alleging abetment to suicide charges against Chakraborty is act of "connivance" between the State of Bihar and the father.
In her plea, Chakraborty has also sought stay on the probe by Bihar Police on the FIR lodged by Rajput's father till disposal of her plea in top court on all proceedings from the jurisdiction of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Patna Sadar to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bandra, Mumbai.
The Bollywood actress has 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
Rajput, aged 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14 and since then the Mumbai police has been probing the case keeping in mind various angles.
The move of Rhea to rush to the top court assumes significance in view of the fact that a four-member probe team of Bihar police is already in Mumbai and may seek to interrogate the actress as the FIR lodged at Patna by Rajput's father, K K Singh, contained allegations of severe criminal offences such as abetment of suicide and criminal breach of trust under the IPC.
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.
On July 25, Rajput's father had lodged a complaint at the Rajeev Nagar Police Station in Patna against Chakraborty and five others. 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.
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 case, in which Mumbai police has 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.
Singh, on July 25, lodged the FIR under various sections of IPC 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).
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