SC to hear Rhea Chakraborty’s plea for transfer of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death probe from Patna to Mumbai

Team Udayavani, Aug 5, 2020, 8:55 AM IST

Patna: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Wednesday the plea of Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty seeking transfer of an FIR, accusing her of abetting suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, from Patna to Mumbai.

Amid unprecedented tug of war between police of Bihar and Maharashtra over the right to probe the death of the actor who was found hanging at his Mumbai residence on June 14, the actress has sought transfer of FIR lodged in Patna on ground of jurisdiction.

The hearing before a bench headed by Justice Hrisheksh Roy would be keenly watched as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday recommended CBI probe to the Centre in the sensational case at the request of Rajput’s father, Krishna Kishore Singh.

Maharashtra has been opposed to transferring the probe to CBI.

Rhea, who had once allegedly tweeted to the Union Home Minister seeking CBI probe into the matter, on Tuesday opposed the move through her lawyer Satish Maneshinde by saying that the decision has no legal sanctity.

The actress, in her interim pleas filed with the pending transfer petition, said, “it is becoming increasingly evident through the widespread media reports that the captioned FIR (at Patna) was successfully filed in Patna only due to intervention of the Chief Minister of Bihar and other local politicians.”

This act is indicative of the Respondent No 2’s (Rajput’s father) attempt of engaging in forum shopping which is contrary to law.

Rhea, through her lawyer Malak Manish Bhatt, has also sought to bring on record some news reports to allege that Rajput’s family did not want Mumbai police to probe the case and attempted to use in her favour the statement of senior advocate Vikas Singh, the family lawyer of Rajput, to the media.

The plea said that the actress has a strong prima facie case in her favour as it is submitted that the cause of action has not even remotely occurred within Patna, and there is no basis for Respondent No 1 to proceed with any kind of investigation.

She has sought to make the Maharashtra government a party to her plea. Bihar Government and actors’s father Krishna Kishore Singh are also made parties in her petition.

Rajput, aged 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14 and since then the Mumbai police has been probing the case keeping in mind various angles.

Governments of Bihar and Maharashtra have already filed caveat in the top court seeking to be heard before any order is passed on Chakraborty’s plea in which she has sought transfer of the FIR, lodged against her and others for alleged offence of abetment of suicide, from Patna to Mumbai.

The father of the late actor, has also filed a caveat in the apex court in the matter.

Caveat is a pre-emptive legal measure taken to ensure that a party does not get any favourable order without a notice or a hearing accorded to the opponent.

On July 25, Rajput’s father had lodged an FIR at Rajiv Nagar police station in Patna against Chakraborty and six others, including her family members, accusing them of abetting the actor’s suicide.

In her plea filed in the apex court, Chakraborty has alleged that Rajput’s father has used his “influence” in roping her in FIR lodged at Patna in Bihar accusing her of abetment of suicide of his son.

The actress has said in her plea that she was in a live-in relationship with Rajput and has been in deep trauma due the death of the actor and moreover getting rape and death threats.

“It is pertinent to mention that the deceased and petitioner were in live-in relationship since a year up till June 8, 2020 when the petitioner had temporarily shifted to her own residence in Mumbai,” she has said in her plea.

Chakraborty has also said, Deceased (Rajput) was suffering from depression for some time and was also on anti-depressants and he committed suicide on the morning of June 14, 2020 at his Bandra residence by hanging himself.

She has said in her plea that it becomes abundantly clear that the commencement of investigation in Patna is erroneous in absence of any cause of action having arisen at Patna.

The entire cause of action as alleged in the FIR had arisen at Bandra in Mumbai, her plea has said.

An FIR has been registered against her and others at Patna for alleged offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 306 (abetment of suicide), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property).

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