Actor Rhea Chakraborty on Friday arrived at the Enforcement Directorate office for questioning after the agency rejected her request to postpone the investigation into the money laundering allegations related to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, reported NDTV. Chakraborty had asked the agency to delay its investigation until the Supreme Court finished hearing her plea seeking the transfer of the FIR against her from Patna to Mumbai.
The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case against the actor over “suspicious transactions” amounting to Rs 15 crore from Rajput’s account. Chakraborty was asked to appear before the agency to record her statement on Friday. “Rhea [Chakraborty] has requested that the recording of her statement be postponed till Supreme Court hearing,” her lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, said earlier in the day.
Chakraborty arrived at the Enforcement Directorate office in Mumbai just after 11.30 am, NDTV reported. “Rhea Chakraborty is a law abiding citizen,” Maneshinde said. “In view of the fact that Enforcement Directorate has informed the media that the request to postpone the attendance is rejected, she has appeared in the ED at the appointed time and date.”
The Enforcement Directorate will investigate the allegations of the misuse of Rajput’s bank accounts, Hindustan Times reported. It will probe whether anyone used Rajput’s income to launder money and create illegal assets.
On Thursday, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a first information report against Chakraborty and five others in connection with the death of Rajput, whose body was found in his apartment in Mumbai on June 14 after what the local police said was a case of suicide.
The CBI has now taken over the investigation on the request of the Bihar government. However, Chakraborty, who has denied all accusations against her, said the Central Bureau of Investigation should stay away from the case till the Supreme Court has given its verdict on the matter, NDTV reported. She claimed an investigation by the CBI at this point will be “totally illegal and beyond any known legal principles, affecting the federal structure of the nation”.
The actor said it should be the Maharashtra Police and not the police of Bihar, who should have jurisdiction over any case relating to Rajput, as he died in Mumbai. “The Bihar Government transferred a case with which it had no jurisdiction to investigate, to CBI instead of the Mumbai Police,” she added in a statement. Chakraborty has consistently opposed the CBI or Bihar Police taking over the investigation.
The government of Maharashtra has also opposed the need for a CBI inquiry, saying the move encroached upon the rights of another state, and that they are yet to give their approval to the investigation. As per the rules, the agency cannot question people in the state without the state government’s acceptance, they have said.
Chakraborty’s lawyer has also said that the transfer of the case to CBI had no legal sanctity.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had asked the state governments in Bihar and Maharashtra, the Centre, and Rajput’s father to file their responses to Chakraborty’s petition in three days. It also directed the Mumbai Police to file a status report on the inquiry conducted so far.
In July, Rajput’s father Krishna Kumar Singh had filed an FIR against Chakraborty, accusing her of cheating his son and driving him to suicide. His FIR alleged that Rs 15 crore was siphoned off from Rajput’s account in one year “to bank accounts of persons not known or connected to the late actor”.
Chakraborty had denied this and had, at the time, also urged Home Minister Amit Shah to order a CBI inquiry into Rajput’s death, though now she is opposed to a non-Maharashtra Police investigation. In a video statement released on July 31, she had expressed faith in the judiciary.
BMC releases Bihar police officer from quarantine centre
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Friday allowed Bihar IPS officer Vinay Tiwari, who came to Mumbai to supervise Bihar Police’s investigation into actor’s death case, to be released from quarantine, reported PTI. The authorities had faced criticism for not allowing the officer to move around for his work, including from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The civic body allowed Tiwari to leave the quarantine facility on the condition that he would leave Mumbai before August 8. It stated that “a quarantine is not mandatory for a short stay”.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had said that the quarantining the police officer did not send a good message. “Quarantining of the Bihar Police officer has not sent good message despite the fact that Mumbai Police has good professional reputation,” it had observed. “The confinement... does it send a good message? Especially when the case has garnered so much media attention? State of Maharashtra has to ensure that everything is done in professional way.”