Sushant death case: Bihar recommends CBI probe, Rhea’s lawyer says it’s beyond jurisdiction

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Updated: Aug 04, 2020 5:21 PM

"The actor's father spoke to the DGP and gave his consent for a CBI probe. Since he had lodged an FIR with Bihar police, we could not have recommended a CBI inquiry.

Sushant Singh Rajput, Sushant Singh Rajput death case, Bihar government, K K Singh, sushant singh rajput cbi probe, latest news on sushant singh rajputK K Singh, Rajput’s father, had on July 25 lodged a police complaint against Chakraborty, a budding actor and his son’s rumoured girlfriend, of abetting his suicide, keeping him in wrongful confinement and defrauding him of crores of rupees. (File photo)

The Bihar government on Tuesday recommended a CBI inquiry into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, a move contested by Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer, who insisted the state had no jurisdiction to make such a recommendation. “The state government has sent its recommendation for a CBI inquiry into the case filed by Mr K K Singh, the father of late Sushant Singh Rajput,” Kumar tweeted. As Patna and Mumbai police were locked in a bitter turf war over who had the mandate of law to investigate the sensational death of Rajput, Kumar had earlier said his government had decided to hand over the case to the central probe agency after the actor’s father gave his consent. K K Singh, Rajput’s father, had on July 25 lodged a police complaint against Chakraborty, a budding actor and his son’s rumoured girlfriend, of abetting his suicide, keeping him in wrongful confinement and defrauding him of crores of rupees.

“The actor’s father spoke to the DGP and gave his consent for a CBI probe. Since he had lodged an FIR with Bihar police, we could not have recommended a CBI inquiry. “Now that he has consented, I have asked the DGP to complete all formalities today and the government will send its recommendation today itself,” Kumar told journalists. Castigating Mumbai police for not cooperating with its Bihar counterparts, and even sending an IPS officer, who had landed in the Maharashtra capital to lead the probe, into “forced quarantine”, he said, the CBI, with a larger “mandate and jurisdiction” will be able to conduct an effective investigation. Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer Satishmane Shinde, however, called into question the Bihar government’s decision.

“There cannot be transfer of a case which had no legal basis to begin with for the Bihar police to get involved. At the most, it would be a Zero FIR which would then be transferred to Mumbai Police,” Maneshinde said in a statement in Mumbai. The transfer of a case, in which they (Bihar police) had no jurisdiction, to CBI has “no legal sanctity”, he said. Rajput, 34, was found hanging at his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14. Kumar’s announcement also did not go down well with the ruling coalition in Maharashtra which claimed it encroached upon the rights of the state government. Maharashtra minister and NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said the Nitish Kumar government was probably trying to divert attention from its “failure” in combating COVID-19 by recommending a CBI probe. “Do they (Bihar government) have jurisdiction over a crime that has taken place in Maharashtra?” Malik asked. Maharashtra home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh had earlier said there was no need for a CBI probe in the case as Mumbai police were capable of handling the matter.

“Tomorrow, for instance, suppose a case is registered against a person living in Mumbai for a crime that has taken place in Uttar Pradesh, will the Maharashtra government too register a case in Mumbai and go for investigation in Uttar Pradesh? It is a question of jurisdiction,” Malik said. He said the way the Bihar government is behaving is creating a crisis. “It is akin to encroaching upon the rights of another state, which is not healthy in a democratic set up,” he added.

“Modi govt & BJP destroying Democratic structure in India. Sad to see BJP’S alliance partners helping them in this destruction of the constitution which will permanently damage our federal structure for dismal political gains. Hope our courts share our concern for the country!” Maharashtra Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant tweeted. Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey, however, defended the state government’s decision in view of the “inaction” of Mumbai police.

“What was Mumbai police doing these 50 days. They were not cooperating with our police. When Bihar home secretary phoned his Maharashtra counterpart, he would not answer the call. All channels of communication were blocked. We doubt your (Mumbai police’s) intentions,” he said. The development came a day before the Supreme Court is slated to hear a petition by Rhea Chakraborty seeking transfer of the case to Mumbai, where an investigation in the matter is already on. The state governments of Bihar and Maharashtra have already filed separate caveats in the top court seeking to be heard before any order is passed on Chakraborty’s plea. The father of the late actor has also filed a caveat in the apex court.

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