No objection if SC transfers Sushant Singh Rajput’s case to CBI: Rhea Chakraborty
Rhea Chakraborty said that transferring the case of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death to the CBI at the behest of Bihar police is wholly without jurisdiction.Updated: Aug 13, 2020 18:34 IST
Actor Rhea Chakraborty told the Supreme Court on Thursday that she has no objection if it transfers the investigation into the death of her boyfriend and fellow actor Sushant Singh Rajput to the Central Bureau of Investigation in exercise of its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.
However, such transfer at the behest of Bihar police is wholly without jurisdiction, she maintained in her written submissions filed before the top court. Article 142 is a special power vested in the Supreme Court empowering it to pass orders to do complete justice in a case before it.
“The petitioner (Rhea Chakraborty) has no objection if the transfer of investigation to CBI is done in exercise of powers conferred upon this court (Supreme Court) under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. Otherwise, the present transfer from Bihar Police to CBI as is done is totally without jurisdiction and contrary to law,” she said in her submissions.
On August 11, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict in Chakraborty’s plea seeking transfer of the case registered against her in connection with Rajput’s death, from Patna to Mumbai.
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai’s Bandra on June 14. The Mumbai Police found the cause of death as “asphyxia due to hanging”, and filed an accidental death report (ADR) but is yet to register an FIR in relation to the incident.
Rajput’s father, KK Singh approached the Bihar police on July 25 accusing Rhea for abetting his son’s suicide. Chakraborty was in a live-in relationship with Rajput for a year till she shifted to her house on June 8.
Patna police registered an FIR on July 25 based on Singh’s complaint for offences relating to abetment of suicide, cheating and criminal intimidation.
Chakraborty moved the top court on July 29 challenging the jurisdiction of the Bihar police in the matter saying that the alleged crime took place in Mumbai and power to look into the matter is with Mumbai police.
Meanwhile, CBI took over the probe on August 5 based on a request by the Bihar police.
“FIR was registered by Bihar police based on an incident which has no connection with Patna. I have apprehension of bias and fear that state interference led to Bihar police registering a case. Patna police has absolutely no jurisdiction to register a case. This case is being used for political gains,” senior counsel Shyam Divan submitted on behalf of Chakraborty during the hearing on August 11.
The court, while reserving its verdict, had given parties liberty to submit written submissions by Thursday.
Chakraborty, in her written submissions, continued to maintain that Bihar police has no powers to investigate the matter and the transfer of the case to CBI by Bihar police is in violation of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE Act).
As per Section 6 of DSPE Act, consent of state government is necessary for CBI to exercise powers and jurisdiction in a case and the proper state government in this case is the Maharashtra government, she submitted.
“Thus, the consent by the State of Bihar under Section 6 is bad in law and was given merely to render the present Petition infructuous (pointless),” she submitted.
The Bihar government has consistently opposed Chakraborty’s plea stating that it was acting well within its powers because the Mumbai police had not registered any FIR or conducted any probe into the matter.
“There is a complete lapse of investigation on part of Mumbai police. Bihar’s FIR is the only FIR in the matter. Allegation is against political class in Maharashtra which has stopped even registering of FIR,” the Bihar government maintained.
The CBI and Rajput’s father had also supported the Bihar government’s stance which the Maharashtra government strongly contested stating that the incident happened in Mumbai and jurisdiction to probe the matter is with the Mumbai police.
Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Maharashtra government, had contended on August 11 that allowing Bihar police to probe an incident which happened in Mumbai will be in the teeth of principles of federalism as per which law and order falls within the domain of a state where the cause of action arose.
“Murder of the CrPc is being attempted in this case where jurisdiction is a casualty. If this is allowed, it will be a fundamental assault on federalism. I have not seen so much sensationalism attached to a transfer petition. And in that, truth and law have become casualties,” Singhvi argued.