The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that it is unfortunate that a gifted artist like Sushant Singh Rajput passed away under unusual circumstances and the truth in the matter should come out.
Justice Hrishikesh Roy, hearing the arguments on a plea by Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty seeking transfer of the case from Patna to Mumbai, said “very unfortunate incident has taken place”.
“A gifted and talented artist has passed away in circumstances which are unusual. Now, the circumstances in which this death took place needs to be inquired into,” Justice Roy observed.
The judge also added that it needs to be investigated whether there was any criminality involved in the matter.
“Everybody has an opinion in the matter, we need to proceed according to the law,” added Justice Roy.
Rhea Chakraborty’s counsel asked the top court to grant her interim protection.
Opposing the plea, Vikas Singh, lawyer of Sushant Singh Rajput’s father, told the Supreme Court that evidence was being tampered with, and now, after the Centre has informed the court about the CBI inquiry into the matter then her petition does not survive.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the Supreme Court that the Centre has accepted Bihar government’s request recommending CBI enquiry into the alleged suicide of the actor.
Stating that “It is in everyone’s interest that the truth should be unraveled,” the top court also pulled up the Maharashtra government for quarantining for 14 days Bihar Police IPS officer Vinay Tiwari, who has been tasked with heading the probe in the matter.
“It doesn’t send out a good message. He was there to do his job. You must do everything in a professional manner. Protect all evidence,” said Justice Roy.
The lawyer of Sushant Singh Rajput’s father had told the apex court that the quarantine is only to destroy the evidence. He also pleaded before the court for a direction to Mumbai Police to cooperate with Bihar Police in the matter.
The Bihar Police has claimed the Mumbai Police of “forcibly” quarantining Patna police officer Vinay Tiwari.
However, the Maharashtra government counsel insisted that there has been no destruction of evidence in the case.
Posting the matter for further hearing next week, the Supreme Court sought a status report from Mumbai Police on its probe so far into the actor’s death.
The top court also sought a status report from the state governments of Bihar and Maharashtra, the Centre and Sushant Singh Rajput’s father and directed them to file their responses to Chakraborty’s petition in three days.
The Bihar Police had filed an FIR against Chakraborty on a complaint by the Sushant Singh’s father, alleging that she illegally transferred Rs 15 crore from the actor’s Mumbai bank account and mentally harassed him.
However, the Maharashtra government has stated that the FIR by Patna police is “politically motivated and that it does not have any jurisdiction.”
The young actor, 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14 and since then the police have been probing the case keeping in mind various angles. Rejecting any foul play, the final post-mortem report had stated that Sushant died of asphyxia as a result of hanging.
On Tuesday, the Bihar government recommended CBI investigation into the alleged suicide case after Sushant’s father KK Singh spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and requested him for the same.
With several twists and turns emerging in the past few days, there has been a growing clamour from political parties as well as some Bollywood personalities to hand over the case to the CBI.
However, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had slammed the demands and asserted that the Mumbai police was capable of probing the actor’s death in June.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the Mumbai Police had made a startling revelation that the late actor had googled his own name and of his former manager Disha Salian — who committed suicide on June 9 — as well as words related to death and mental disorder in his last few hours.
The police said they retrieved this information from his mobile phone and laptop.
Sushant searched for words like “painless death”, “schizophrenia” and “bipolar disorder” on Google, according to Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.