A day after being named in an FIR in Patna, accusing her of being responsible of driving actor Sushant Singh Rajput to commit suicide, actress Rhea Chakraborty on Wednesday knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the probe from Patna to Mumbai.
Chakraborty's advocate, Satish Maneshinde, confirmed the development to the Free Press Journal. "We have moved the apex court seeking transfer of the FIR filed by Sushant's father against my client, from Patna to Mumbai," he said.
Maneshinde, a noted criminal lawyer, defended actor Sanjay Dutt in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, and was appointed public prosecutor in the Palghar lynching case.
"We have sought the transfer on the ground that the cause of action i.e. the suicide took place in Mumbai. Hence, the probe should continue here and not in Patna. Also, the fact that Mumbai Police is already investigating the case and has recorded statements of a few persons. Since there is already a pending case being probed in Mumbai, the other one (in Patna) must also be transferred to the city," Maneshinde added.
Amid the rising chorus for transfer of the case to the CBI, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday categorically ruled out such a move.
After attending an internal security review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deshmukh told The Free Press Journal, ‘’ There is no question of transferring the case to CBI. Mumbai police are quite capable of handling the case. Investigations are on.’’
Deshmukh’s statement came hours after BJP MP Subramanian Swamy tweeted, “If Bihar Police is serious about having a say in the investigation into the unnatural death of Sushant Singh Rajput, then there is no alternative to a CBI probe since the police of two States cannot separately investigate the same crime.’’
Earlier, Swamy had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a CBI probe into the matter.
Two days ago, state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar met Deshmukh and demanded either a probe by a Special Investigation Team with forensic experts, or a transfer of the case to the CBI.
‘’Since the issue has now transcended the boundaries of the state and has come to shake the conscience of the entire nation, the purpose of justice can be served by referring the said inquiry to SIT or CBI,’’ he had said.
He, however, said he had complete faith in the fairness of the Mumbai Police.
Meanwhile, a team of four officers from Bihar Police, which has arrived in Mumbai in connection with the FIR registered in Patna, visited the Mumbai Police Crime Branch office in Andheri (East) on Wednesday. The Bihar Police officers waited for a couple of hours, but were unable to meet the senior Mumbai Police officers and had to go their own way to conduct the investigation, sources said.
Sources said the team recorded the late actor's sister Meetu Singh's statement along with that of Rajput’s former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande. The team intends to record statements of some more individuals in Mumbai, sources said.
Rajput's father had lodged an FIR accusing Chakraborty for his son's death. He has accused the actress of harassing the deceased actor and also of transferring money out of his accounts.
The FIR also alleged that Chakraborty did not allow Rajput to sign new films, since she wasn't given a lead role against him. She also changed his old and reliable staff and had also forced him to change his contact number so as to ensure he did not communicate or connect with his family, the FIR has claimed.
(With inputs by Priyanka Navalkar)