Opposing a CBI probe in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, the Mumbai Police told the Supreme Court on Saturday that it was carrying out an impartial investigation and alleged that that the registration of a case by the Bihar Police was “politically motivated” and violated the principle of federalism.
The 34-year-old Bollywood actor was found dead in his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14. The Mumbai Police said he had died by suicide and began investigating whether he was driven by clinical depression and ugly rivalries in the film industry.
Last month, Sushant Singh Rajput’s father KK Singh filed a case in Patna that accused his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, also an actor, and her relatives of cheating him financially, mentally harassing him and driving him to suicide. Amid growing clamour in political circles and consent from the family, the probe was transferred to the CBI.
In an affidavit filed before the top court in response to a petition by Ms Chakraborty that requested for the Bihar case to be transferred to Mumbai, the city police said the CBI should have waited for the Supreme Court decision in the matter before taking over the probe.
The affidavit said that Bihar Police did not have the jurisdiction to investigate the FIR or examine witnesses and said the question of cooperation by the Mumbai Police into the parallel inquiry by the Bihar Police did not arise.
It alleged that that the registration of FIR in Patna by Bihar Police was “politically motivated and violated the principles of federalism enshrined in the constitution”.
The Mumbai Police said that the Bihar Police could only have registered a “Zero FIR” since the crime did not fall in its jurisdiction and sent it to Mumbai. It did not have the legal authority to transfer the case to the CBI either.
The “indecent haste with which the CBI has proceeded in this regard speaks for itself, regarding the bonafides of all involved in this exercise,” the Mumbai Police said.
The police also denied that quarantining of senior Bihar Police officer Vinay Tiwary was aimed at obstructing its investigation.
The police said that an investigation by two different state police into the same incident, which has occurred within one state, will lead to a chaotic situation as the investigation of one state police may interfere with the investigation of another state police.
On Thursday, in its submission to the top court, the Bihar government had accused the Mumbai police of helping Rhea Chakraborty and obstructing its investigations. Rhea Chakraborty has given no proof that the Patna police is “biased against her” beyond “general and bald allegations”, said Bihar, arguing against the actor’s petition to transfer the case filed by Sushant Singh Rajput’s family in Patna to Maharashtra.
When the hearing resumes next week, the Maharashtra government will be represented by senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.