Justice Hrishikesh Roy invoked the SC’s inherent power under Article 142 of the Constitution to do complete justice in the case that has seen a bitter tug-of-war between police forces of the two states and said, “Dissemination of the real facts through unbiased investigation would certainly result in justice for the innocents, who might be the target of vilification campaign. Equally importantly, when integrity and credibility of the investigation is discernible, the trust, faith and confidence of the common man in the judicial process will resonate. When truth meets sunshine, justice will not prevail on the living alone but after life’s fitful fever, now the departed will also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate.”
In his 35-page judgment, Justice Roy rejected actor Rhea Chakraborty’s plea for transfer of the FIR lodged with Patna police by Rajput’s father to Mumbai.
The SC said Patna police did no wrong in lodging an FIR on the basis of Rajput’s father K K Singh’s complaint as it disclosed a cognisable offence and also ruled that Bihar government was competent to refer the probe to the CBI.
With the CBI registering a case on the basis of Rajput’s father’s complaint, Chakraborty too will be under the scanner as Singh had accused her and her family of cultivating proximity to Rajput for the purpose of misappropriating his wealth. Chakraborty, Rajput’s live-in partner, has vehemently denied the charge.
The SC recorded a finding that Mumbai police had not even registered an FIR and was “stretching” its inquiry on the basis of an accidental death report. As the FIR lodged by Patna police is the only FIR in the domain of investigation, which has already been taken over by the CBI, any FIR lodged by Mumbai police in future would also be taken up by the central investigating agency, Justice Roy ordered.
“Therefore, while according approval for the ongoing CBI investigation, if any other case is registered on the death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the surrounding circumstances of his unnatural death, the CBI is directed to investigate the new case as well. It is ordered accordingly,” he said.
The SC said there was a chance that the investigation into Rajput’s unnatural death could get blemished because of trading of charges between Bihar and Maharashtra, causing the real culprits to go scot-free during the trial.
“Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was a talented actor in the Mumbai film world and died well before his full potential could be realised. His family, friends and admirers are keenly waiting for the outcome of the investigation so that all the speculation floating around can be put to rest. Therefore, a fair, competent and impartial investigation is the need of the hour. The expected outcome then would be a measure of justice for the complainant, who lost his only son. For the petitioner (Chakraborty) too, it will be the desired justice as she herself called for a CBI investigation,” Justice Roy said.
He justified the CBI probe into Rajput’s death on June 14 and said, “As both states are making acrimonious allegations of political interference against each other, the legitimacy of the investigation has come under a cloud. Accusing fingers are being pointed and people have taken the liberty to put out their own conjectures and theories. Such comments, responsible or otherwise, have led to speculative public discourse which have hogged media limelight. These developments unfortunately have the propensity to delay and misdirect the investigation. In such a situation, there is reasonable apprehension of truth being a casualty and justice becoming a victim.”