Sushant Singh Rajput death: ED files money laundering case
The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case in connection with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The case was filed on the basis of a First Information Report filed by the Bihar police, say officials.
Sushant Singh’s father had alleged that there were unexplained transfers from his son’s bank account involving actor Rhea Chakraborty and others.
The late actor’s father has accused Chakraborty, a budding TV and film actress, of having befriended his son in May 2019 with the intention of furthering her own career.
The ED will probe allegations of alleged mishandling of Rajput’s money and his bank accounts.
The agency will probe if anyone used Rajput’s income for money laundering and creating illegal assets, the officials said.
Officials said Rhea Chakraborty and others named in the ED case are likely to be summoned next week.
Legal experts said that an ED probe is different from the one conducted by the local police as according to normal criminal law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but under PMLA (prevention of money laundering act), a person is presumed guilty until he proves his innocence.
Dr Sujay Kantawala, senior lawyer who specialises in PMLA cases, said: “When the Bihar police lodged the FIR, the provisions were of Indian Penal Code. Here you are presumed innocent and the burden of proof is on prosecution to prove the charge. However, when the ED comes into the picture, there is a reverse burden of proof. The ED has powers to trace the monies and confiscate properties wherever they want by way of issuing provisional attachment orders.”
The statements recorded by witnesses under the PMLA, said Kantawala, are admissible in the court unlike statements recorded by police under section 161 of the CrPC (criminal procedure code).
Kantawala further explained that the accused person is entitled to get a copy of the FIR registered by police or CBI, but the ED’s ECIR (equivalent to FIR) is not given to the accused.
The 34-year-old actor, who had starred in films such as Chichhore, Kai Po Che and Kedarnath, was found dead at his Mumbai home on June 14.