Sushant Singh Rajput verdict: A boost for Nitish Kumar that even his rivals can’t deny

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Updated: Aug 19, 2020 5:07 PM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Bihar government's recommendation to transfer the FIR lodged in Sushant Singh Rajput's death case in Patna to the CBI.

Sushant Singh death case: Nitish Kumar says SC’s decision for a CBI probe vindicated Bihar government’s lawful action which had nothing to do with politics or elections.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. The decision comes more than two months after the actor’s death and in the midst of a bitter turf war between the Maharashtra and Bihar governments over the handing over the case to the CBI from the Mumbai Police.

A bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy said that any case lodged in the matter will be probed by the CBI and that the Bihar government was competent to give consent for entrustment of investigation to the CBI.

The Maharashtra government maintained that the Mumbai Police’s investigation into the case was moving in the right direction, but the Bihar government and Sushant’s family were adamant on a probe by the CBI.

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s order, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the top court’s decision vindicated Bihar government’s lawful action which had nothing to do with politics or elections.

“With today’s apex courts order, it has become amply clear that whatever was done in Bihar was in accordance with the law and Constitutional norms. The order makes it clear that whatever steps we took (in the pursuit of justice) were correct. And I am quite hopeful that justice will now be done in the case,” Kumar said.

This decision has come as a huge boost for Nitish Kumar who was firm on his stance for a CBI probe along with the deceased actor’s family. Although Nitish said that there was nothing political in backing the actor’s family in demanding a CBI probe, the issue is bound to snowball during the upcoming Assembly and opposition parties are already finding it difficult to question him.

Sushant’s death has become an extremely emotive issue in Bihar, and although the polls will largely be fought on caste lines – – as has always been the case in the state – – the actor’s death and the role of the government will undoubtedly help Nitish take the focus away from the opposition’s narrative of highlighting the shortcomings in the 15 years of his rule.

And the Opposition knows it well. It is no surprise then that the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the biggest rival of the Chief Minister, has had to measure its words while reacting to the SC verdict. Tejashwi Yadav, while seeking to take credit for the verdict, could not deny the government its due.

The Maharashtra government had already alleged that the Bihar government was pressing for a CBI probe and doing investigation to gain political mileage ahead of the Assembly elections. Shiv Sena’s spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut had alleged that Bihar government’s action in the actor’s death by suicide case was inspired by the polls in the state. Even actress and Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty in her plea in the Supreme Court had made a similar charge.

When Nitish was asked that it has been alleged that FIR was lodged in Bihar because of the upcoming assembly elections, he said, “I do not take notice of such things as it has nothing to do with politics or elections, rather it is purely related to law and nothing else.”

When pointed out that it was a victory of the Bihar government and state police, Nitish said, “Nyay ki jeet hui hain (truth has triumphed).”

Bihar is slated to go to polls in October-November this year.

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