Patna: The death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput has turned into a full-fledged political slugfest between Maharashtra and Bihar, with the former now alleging in the Supreme Court that the FIR lodged in Patna in connection with the case was “politically motivated”.
The Bihar Police was reluctant to register the case but did so at the insistence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and a minister, the Mumbai Police has said in an affidavit filed in the top court Saturday. “Thus it is submitted that the registration of the FIR at Rajeev Nagar Police station, Patna Bihar was politically motivated and due to extraneous reasons,” the affidavit said.
The Mumbai Police made the submissions in connection with a petition filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty, who has sought transfer of the case from Patna to Mumbai. She has been named as an accused, along with her family members, in the Patna FIR for abetting the actor’s alleged suicide.
The affidavit filed by the Bandra police inspector, who is overseeing the probe in Mumbai, also opposed handover of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), adding that the central agency made “indecent haste” in registering the case.
The Mumbai Police also said the Bihar Police didn’t follow the norms as set by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and doesn’t have jurisdiction in the case. It added that Rajput’s father is not within his rights to file the FIR in Patna.
Rajput’s body was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his Mumbai house on 14 June. The Mumbai Police has filed an accidental death report (ADR) in the case.
Bihar Police ‘revealed information to media’
The affidavit said Bihar should have followed the home ministry advisory from 10 May 2013 to register a Zero FIR and then transfer it to the Mumbai Police, adding the Bihar Police has no jurisdiction in investigating an offence committed in Maharashtra.
“Not a single legally permissible or sustainable ground existed, nor does it exist for the registration of the FIR in Patna or for the transfer of a non maintainable FIR to the CBI,” the affidavit said, stressing that only the Maharashtra government could have recommended the matter to the CBI.
It also dubbed the Bihar Police investigation as malafide and in violation of federalism enshrined in the Constitution.
The Mumbai Police also noted that four Bihar Police officers landed in Mumbai on 27 July and began “their own simultaneous inquiry”. It highlighted that information collected by the Bihar Police was revealed to the media, adding that such moves would jeopardise the Mumbai Police investigation.
It also justified the quarantining of Patna IPS officer Vinay Pandey, stating that it was done according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Covid-19 protocol.
Earlier, the Bihar Police had accused the Mumbai Police of not cooperating in the investigation.
Father’s statements an ‘afterthought’
The Mumbai Police also said the deceased actor’s father, K.K. Singh, was not within his legal rights to file the FIR in Patna. He ought to have filed it in the Bandra police station either by a letter or e-mail as the alleged offence was committed within the local limits of the Bandra police station, the affidavit said, adding that Singh was aware that the Mumbai Police is probing the ADR.
It noted that Singh didn’t seek to lodge an FIR against Chakraborty and her family at any point, or said the Mumbai Police had refused to register a case.
The initial statements taken from Singh’s family don’t suggest they suspected anything against anyone, and thus the statements made later were “tainted and afterthought”, said the affidavit. It added that the Mumbai Police would have gone to Patna to record his statement had he lodged an FIR in Mumbai.