On July 31, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a case of money laundering over transactions worth Rs 15 crore related to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
An ED official said that it had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
The development came amid the complaint of Sushant's father K.K. Singh, to Bihar Police against his son's girlfriend and actress Rhea Chakraborty.
The ED named Rhea and her family members in the case on the basis of the Bihar Police FIR.
According to the FIR Singh alleged that Sushant had Rs 17 crore in his account but within months Rs 15 crore was transferred to accounts not linked to him. He even alleged that Rhea used to control Sushant's ATM and credit cards and money was deposited in the accounts of her family members. Sushant's account in Kotak Mahindra bank was emptied by her.
In an interview with India Today, Rhea said that Rs 15 crore was the proposed amount offered by writer-director Rumi Jaffery and producer Vashu Bhagnani. The film starred Rajput and Chakraborty in lead roles.
Rhea added that the amount was never signed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said, "In their meeting, perhaps Rs 15 crore was mutually decided as the signing amount between Sushant and Vashu sir. Sushant was very happy about this. This happened in the month of February.”
"This was a verbal agreement. Nothing was signed on paper. Unfortunately, the lockdown happened soon after. We were supposed to start the shoot in May, and the contract work would have happened in March-April, but things got postponed and, therefore, no transaction happened,” she added.
Rumi Jaffery, reacting to the claims said that no agreement was signed, therefore no money was given.
"In this industry, no producer can pay Rs 15 crore even to top stars. This is not even the full price, leave alone signing amount. Why should the money be paid? No agreement was signed in the first place. It was his bad luck. The lockdown happened."
Earlier, a senior police officer told Mumbai Mirror that the expenses are related to the rent paid for his apartment, travel, hotel stays and renting a farmhouse in Lonavala.
Sushant’s chartered accountant Sandeep Sridhar corroborated findings by Mumbai Police.
Singh’s flatmate Siddharth Pithani also told the cops that he was under pressure by the actor’s family and lawyer to say that a sum of Rs 15 crore was siphoned from the star’s bank account.
On work front, Rumi is the director of upcoming film Chehre which stars Rhea Chakraborty, Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi. The film was announced on 11 April 2019 and filming began on 10 May 2019. It was scheduled for worldwide release on 17 July 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.