CBI team that probed Vijay Mallya to investigate Rhea Chakraborty for Sushant’s death
A team of SIT will station itself in Mumbai to begin questioning people connected with the late actor including Rhea Chakraborty, Bollywood producers and others who have given statements after his death or know about the circumstances related to his death of June 14, officials familiar with development said.Updated: Aug 06, 2020 22:34 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday filed a case in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput naming his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and four other family members or known associates apart from ‘unknown persons’ as accused, officials said.
The investigation has been handed over to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is currently investigating the high profile AgustaWestland scam and bank fraud case against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya.
The SIT, also known as Anti-Corruption-6, is headed by Gujarat cadre IPS officer Manoj Shashidhar. It was formed in June 2016 in the CBI under then Special Director Rakesh Asthana to expedite probe against Mallya and in VVIP Chopper scam.
A team of SIT will station itself in Mumbai to begin questioning people connected with the late actor including Rhea Chakraborty, Bollywood producers and others who have given statements after his death or know about the circumstances related to his death of June 14, officials familiar with development said.
The decision to hand over the probe to the SIT was taken as CBI’s Special Crimes unit, which usually investigates such cases, currently has its hands full. “The Special Crimes unit is currently probing high profile cases related to custodial death of father-son duo of P Jayaraj and J Bennicks in Tamil Nadu in June as well as the suicide of SHO, Vishnudutt Vishnoi in Churu, Rajasthan, on May 23. In the SHO case, the CBI had last month questioned Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s OSD – Devaram Saini,” an official said requesting anonymity.
Also, around eight officials of CBI’s special crimes unit who had gone to investigate Tamil Nadu’s custodial deaths are in quarantine right now as a couple of them contracted Covid-19 disease last month.
Known for thorough probes in mysterious death cases, suicides, murders and custodial deaths, the CBI is likely to take the help of medical experts from reputed institutions to study the post mortem report of Sushant Singh Rajput, another official said, explaining the investigation techniques and procedures in the agency. If it feels at a later stage that Rhea Chakraborty or others are misleading, then it may even consider conducting lie-detection tests on them as has been seen in the past in several high profile cases investigated by CBI, the officer added.
The case was handed over to the CBI by Bihar government after Sushant’s father K K Singh and Bihar police alleged a cover-up by Mumbai police to save ‘influential’ people. They have accused Mumbai police of destroying evidence and deliberately ignoring leads in the case in an attempt to derail it, an allegation rejected by the Maharashtra police even as it questioned the jurisdiction of Bihar police in the matter.
K K Singh has alleged that Rhea Chakraborty and her family drove his son to suicide and embezzled his funds.
Apart from Rhea and her brother Showik, CBI has named her family members – Indirajeet Chakraborty, Sandhya Chakraborty, Shruti Modi and Sushant’s house manager, Samuel Miranda - as accused for criminal conspiracy, cheating and abetment to suicide.
Rhea’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde didn’t respond to HT’s calls.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also investigating the case as it suspects there has been money laundering by some suspects. The ED questioned Samuel Miranda on Thursday while Sushant’s former chartered accountant Sandeep Sridhar was examined on Tuesday.
Rhea Chakraborty has been asked by the ED to appear before it on Friday 11 am.
The Mumbai police has been probing the death since Sushant’s body was found at his apartment on June 14 but it is yet to register a case.