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Bihar seeks dismissal of Rhea’s plea in Rajput death case in SC

Bihar government Friday sought in the Supreme Court dismissal of Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty’s plea for transfer of the Patna FIR against her to Mumbai in actor Sushant Singh Rajput death case, terming it “premature, misconceived and non-maintainable”.

Rajput, 34, was found dead in his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14 and Mumbai Police, probing the case, has recorded statements of 56 persons including Bollywood directors like Aditya Chopra, Mahesh Bhatt and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The 28-page affidavit of Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Upendra Sharma, filed through Bihar’s advocate Keshav Mohan, said the state police has the jurisdiction in the case as the consequences of the offence are in Patna as well where the old father of the deceased actor resides.

Bihar Police has recorded the statement of as many as 10 people in Mumbai including Rajput’s friend Mahesh Shetty and the deceased’s former girlfriend and actress Ankita Lokhande during the probe on the FIR lodged by Rajput’s father, the affidavit said.

“It is most respectfully submitted that the transfer petition filed by the petitioner u/s 406 of Cr.P.C is premature, misconceived and non-maintainable,” the IPS officer said in the affidavit filed in response of the apex court’s directives issued on Rhea’s plea earlier. Referring to legal provisions, the state said, “Therefore what transpires from the bare perusal of section 179 Cr.P.C is that the offence can be tried either at the place where the offence has been committed or the consequence ensues.” In the present case the victim is the informant, Krishna Kishore Singh who has lost his “young, vibrant son” due to the act committed by the accused including the actress, the affidavit said, adding that Patna Police has jurisdiction to register the FIR.

The affidavit referred to non cooperation of Mumbai Police and interstate ramifications of the crime and said that considering these factors, the state government took note of DGP’s recommendation for the CBI probe and recommended accordingly to the Centre.

Also read: Sushant Singh Rajput case: Bihar’s Gagandeep Gambhir to supervise CBI probe team

“On the basis of preliminary investigation conducted by Patna Police, it surfaced that the various facts and evidences surrounding the present case may be obtained in Mumbai or rest of India and given the sensitivity of the matter and the inter-state ramification and presence of most of the accused in Mumbai, the Director General of Police, Bihar requested the Govt. of Bihar to recommend the investigation of the case to CBI,” it said.

Non-cooperation of Mumbai Police with Patna Police is very much clear from the fact that they have not supplied any documents such as Inquest Report, Post Mortem report, FSL report, CCTV footage, it said. “It is most respectfully submitted that the Mumbai Police has been making lame excuses that only Mumbai Police has jurisdiction to investigate the offence which it has already been investigating despite the fact that no cognizable case,” it said.

Seeking dismissal of Rhea’s plea, the state government said the actress has not mentioned anything to substantiate “bias except for the general and bald allegation that the complaint has been lodged due to influence of the informant of the case.” The FIR cannot be transferred merely on the apprehension of bias, it said.

It dealt with the CrPC provision under which the transfer of FIR has been sought and said, “the object of section 406 CrPC has never been to transfer investigation from one state to another state.” “From bare perusal of the provision of section 406 CrPC, it transpires that the section provides for transfer of ‘cases and appeals’ from one High Court to another High Court or from a Criminal Court subordinate to one High Court to another Criminal Court of equal or superior jurisdiction subordinate to another High Court…the words “case or appeal” used in…has been used to mean trial and appeals pending before one court may be transferred to another court to secure the ends of justice,” it said.

The affidavit said that in criminal proceedings the concept of jurisdiction cannot be applied like civil cases. It also referred to the incident in which an IPS officer of Bihar police was quarantined by civic body BMC in Mumbai.

The top court had directed Rajput’s father Krishna Kishore Singh, Bihar and Maharashtra governments to respond within three days to the plea of Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty seeking transfer of an FIR, accusing her of abetting suicide of the actor at his Mumbai residence on June 14, from Patna to Mumbai.

The top court had on August 5 said that the truth behind the “unfortunate” death of a “gifted and talented artist” should come out and asked Rajput’s father as also Bihar and Maharashtra to respond within three days to the plea of actress Rhea.

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