Actors and politicians on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court order to hand over the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death to the Central Bureau of Investigation and said it would be the first step towards an unbiased inquiry. Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra on June 14, in what the Mumbai Police said was a case of suicide.
Justice Hrishikesh Roy directed the Mumbai Police to hand over the case records and evidence to the central agency and asked the Maharashtra government to cooperate in the investigation. The court’s judgement was based on a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty to transfer a first information report of abetment to suicide registered against her in connection with the death of Rajput from Patna to Mumbai.
Minutes after the court verdict, Rajput’s sister Shweta Singh Kirti tweeted: “Thank you god! You have answered our prayers!! But it is just the beginning...the first step towards the truth! Full faith on CBI!!”
The lawyer of Rajput’s father, KK Singh, said the Supreme Court ruled in their favour, ANI reported. “This is a victory for Sushant Singh Rajput’s family,” he added. “The court also clearly said that the FIR registered at Patna was correct...We hope that we should get justice very soon. The family is very happy with the verdict.”
In its verdict, the top court said the Bihar Police had registered a valid FIR based on the complaint filed by the actor’s father, adding that it stands transferred to the CBI.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said it was the duty of the state police to launch a probe. “But they didn’t get cooperation in Mumbai,” he said. “Behaviour meted out to our IPS officer is known to all. With Supreme Court verdict, it’s clear what happened wasn’t right. Any political comment in this situation isn’t right.”
Kumar added that the state government is committed to ensure justice in the case. “These things are not about politics, they are about justice,” he said. “Probe will speed up now. Today it was proved that we abided by law in the steps we took.”
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that the state government’s stand has been “vindicated” and welcomed the decision to allow the CBI to investigate.
Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan said the verdict is a victory for Rajput’s family and those supporting the actor. “Not only the truth will surface now but those names will also come out who were behind disrupting the investigation in the case,” he added.
Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav said Rashtriya Janata Dal called for a CBI inquiry on June 30. “I welcome the Supreme Court verdict recommending CBI probe in the case...This is victory for justice,” he said.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis said the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government needs to introspect on the way it handled the case.
BJP leader and former state minister Ashish Shelar accused the state government of pressurising the Mumbai Police. “It is imperative to find out who was behind it,” he said.
Union minister RK Singh said it was “unfortunate” that the Mumbai Police failed to investigate the matter properly.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Jay Panda said the verdict given by the top court was expected. “There were too many things that were odd about these two Bollywood deaths of Sushant Singh Rajput and his former business manager,” he told ANI. “This whole issue had struck a chord with millions of people. He had symbolised aspirational India.”
However, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters that the state government always been at the forefront of fighting for truth and justice. He said casting doubts on the integrity of Mumbai Police was a “conspiracy” and said they investigated the case properly. “Nobody is above law,” the Rajya Sabha member said. “With the Supreme Court giving its judgement, it is not right to make a political comment.”
On whether the state government will challenge the verdict, Raut said they will respond after getting the copy of the judgement.
Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey told reporters that he was “very happy” with the order, saying it has strengthened people’s trust in the court. “Today’s verdict has proved that Bihar Police was correct,” he said. “The way Mumbai Police behaved was illegal.”
Actors Akshay Kumar, Ankita Lokhande and Anupam Kher also hailed the top court’s verdict.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh said they will examine the court order and decide their next move. “We have spoken to our advocates in the Supreme Court to send us the order copy,” Singh told reporters.
The Mumbai and Patna police have repeatedly traded allegations in the case. Their discord intensified over the quarantining of Indian Police Service officer Vinay Tiwari, who was sent to Mumbai from Bihar to investigate Rajput’s death. The Supreme Court had observed that the quarantining the police officer did not send “a good message”.
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