Suspense on who probes Sushant's death: CBI or Mumbai police

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/12/2020 11:23:16 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug 11: The Supreme Court kept up the suspense on who should probe Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death on June 14 -- the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Mumbai Police -- by reserving the order after two hours of hearing. He was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his Bandra apartment in Mumbai.
The single-judge Bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy gave a day's time till Wednesday to the Centre, Maharashtra and Bihar governments, actress Rhea Chakraborty, late actor’s father Krishna Kishore Singh to file the written notes on their submissions. Wednesday being a holiday in the court on account of Janmashtami, they get time till Thursday morning to file the notes.
The judge was hearing a transfer petition of Rhea Chakraborty, seeking transfer of investigation in the FIR lodged in Patna by Rajput’s father to Mumbai police. However, now the investigation in Patna FIR has been taken over by CBI. A minimum of two judges sit on the Supreme Court Bench, but the case was assigned to a single judge since it was a simple case of transfer.
During the hearing, the Mumbai Police raised the issue of jurisdiction while the Bihar government and Singh alleged bias against the Mumbai Police, contending that there is a strong case for an independent probe by a central agency.
Hammering the point of jurisdiction of Mumbai police to investigate the case, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Maharashtra government said, “You may have screaming headlines, screaming anchors, comments from everywhere but that does not change the law. The court should look at the law. It's not about Mumbai police and Bihar police. It's about federalism and jurisdiction.”
Referring to Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, that mandates prior consent of the State government for CBI to take over the investigation of a case, Singhvi said, “The only exception to state consent is If and when the Supreme Court of India comes to a conclusion that there are "extraordinary circumstances" as then alone it (Supreme Court) can transfer investigation to CBI.”
Dealing with the aspect of the territorial jurisdiction, senior counsel Maninder Singh, appearing for the Bihar government said: “It cannot be said that Bihar does not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate the case.” His logic was that "when it is uncertain where exactly the offence was conducted, the issue of territorial jurisdiction does not arise and moreover Proceedings of investigation cannot be challenged on grounds of territorial jurisdiction.”
He alleged that may be Mumbai police is under political pressure. “Political pressure is in Maharashtra and not in Bihar. Mumbai police is not cooperating. What are they hiding in this case,” Singh asked, referring to media reports about the name of Maharashtra Chief Minister’s son. There is a serious political clout due to which FIR has not been filed in Mumbai till now.”
Referring to the arguments both by Maharashtra and Bihar governments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said they only make a “strong case” for investigation by an independent central agency.



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