Awaiting response from US on clues: CBI in Sushant Singh Rajput case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Awaiting response from US on clues: CBI in Sushant Singh Rajput case

By, New Delhi
Jun 30, 2023 02:53 PM IST

The CBI hasn’t been able to finalise its investigation into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput even after three years.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) hasn’t been able to finalise its investigation into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput even after three years for want of response from the US on its queries related to technical evidence, people familiar with the development said.

Sushant Singh Rajput. (Hindustan Times)
Sushant Singh Rajput. (Hindustan Times)

The premier anti-corruption agency sent a formal request in 2021 to California-headquartered Google and Facebook, asking them to share details of all deleted chats, emails or posts of the actor so that it could analyse the content and understand the background to the events of June 14, 2020, the day Rajput was found dead at his apartment in Mumbai.

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India and the US have a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) under which both sides can gain access to information in any domestic investigation, which otherwise may not be possible.

“We are still waiting for a response from the US on this technical evidence, which may help us take the case to a logical conclusion. The case is pending finalisation (because of this),” said a CBI officer, who didn’t want to be named.

HT first reported in November 2021 that CBI had approached the US authorities for information in the case.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who represents Sushant Singh’s family, said he was not aware of the request for technical evidence but added that “CBI is trying to give a slow death (to the case)”.

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Meanwhile, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed in an interview with a TV channel on Wednesday that some individuals have claimed that they possess substantial evidence regarding the case and that the state has “reached out to them and requested they submit the evidence to the police.”, He added that the state was “in the process of examining the credibility of presented evidence”.

HT reached out to CBI to ascertain whether it was the recipient of any fresh evidence, as claimed by Fadnavis, but the agency did not respond.

CBI said after taking over the investigation in 2020 that it was looking into all aspects in the actor’s death. Among the angles it is exploring are abetment of suicide charges against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty; and whether the actor took the step under any professional pressure.

It has already examined dozens of people including the actor’s friends, staff, his doctors, actress Chakraborty and her family members, and several members of the film fraternity. It has also studied the findings of the medical board of AIIMS, which after studying the post-mortem examination and viscera reports, concluded in September 2020 that the actor’s death was a case of suicide. Singh’s family has, however, called the findings faulty.

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CBI said in a statement in December 2020 that it was probing the case using the latest scientific techniques. “During the investigation, advanced mobile forensic equipment including the latest software has been used for extraction and analysis of relevant data available in the digital devices and also for analysis of dump data of the relevant cell tower locations related to the case.”

The agency had also visited several cities including Aligarh, Faridabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Manesar and Patna to collect evidence and record statements.

Mumbai police, which initially looked into the case, didn’t find any foul play.

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    Neeraj Chauhan, senior associate editor with the National Political Bureau of Hindustan Times, writes on security, terrorism, corruption, laundering, black money, narcotics, and related policy matters while covering MHA, ED, CBI, NIA, IB, CVC, NHRC, CAG, Income Tax department, etc.

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