SC closes all options for Mumbai Police to probe SSR death case

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) As the Supreme Court ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the mysterious death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput on Wednesday, the CBI is set to write to the Mumbai Police to get hold of all the evidence and statements it recorded in the last two months.
According to top CBI sources, the agency will write to the Mumbai Police to share all the evidence it has collected in the probe.
The CBI will seek details of the autopsy report, crime scene photographs from the Mumbai Police and the same will be shared with the forensic experts posted at CFSL. The sources said that the agency will demand the statements of all the persons whose statements were recorded in the last two months and the electronic devices of the late actor which are with the Mumbai Police.
The sources said that a team of CBI’s IT cell probing the case will soon visit Mumbai and recreate the crime scene and if required it will seek the help from the Mumbai CBI branch for more personnel.
The CBI will also probe that why the Mumbai Police did not act on the complaint of the actor’s family made on Whatsapp in the month of February this year. The source said that the Mumbai Police officials will also be examined by the CBI SIT.
In a snub to the Mumbai Police, the Supreme Court closed all options for them to continue the probe or register a criminal case in future in connection with the unnatural death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Ordering a CBI probe into the matter, Justice Hrishikesh Roy said, “While according approval for the ongoing CBI investigation, if any other case is registered on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the surrounding circumstances of his unnatural death, the CBI is directed to investigate the new case as well.”
The top court noted that in the present case, the Mumbai Police has attempted to stretch the purview of Section 174 without drawing up any FIR and therefore, as it appears, no investigation pursuant to commission of a cognizable offence is being carried out by the Mumbai Police.
“They are yet to register an FIR. Nor they have made a suitable determination, in terms of Section 175(2) of the CrPC. Therefore, it is pre-emptive and premature to hold that a parallel investigation is being carried out by the Mumbai Police,” observed Justice Roy.
He added that in case of a future possibility of cognizance being taken by two courts in different jurisdictions, the issue could be resolved under Section 186 of CrPC and other applicable laws.
“No opinion is therefore expressed on a future contingency and the issue is left open to be decided, if needed, in accordance with the law,” said Justice Roy.
The top court observed that the FIR filed in Patna was subsequently transferred to the CBI with the consent of the Bihar government during the pendency of Rhea Chakraborty’s transfer petition seeking transfer of the case from Patna to Mumbai.
However, in future, if commission of cognizable offence under Section 175(2) of CrPC is determined, the possibility of parallel investigation by the Mumbai Police cannot be ruled out, the top court noted.
“Section 6 of the DSPE Act, 1946, read with Section 5 prescribe the requirement of consent from the state government, before entrustment of investigation to the CBI. As the CBI has already registered a case and commenced investigation at the instance of the Bihar government, uncertainty and confusion must be avoided in the event of Mumbai Police also deciding to simultaneously investigate the cognizable offence, based on their finding in the inquiry proceeding,” said Justice Roy.
He added that therefore, it would be appropriate to decide at this stage itself as to who should conduct the investigation on all the attending circumstances relating to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.
“This issue becomes relevant only if another FIR is registered on the same issue at Mumbai. A decision by this court on the point would confer legitimacy to the investigation,” Justice Roy added.
Invoking the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Constitution, the top court directed the CBI to investigate the new case as well.

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