The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. Observing that Mumbai Police had limited investigation powers since it only registered an accidental death case, the court held that the full-fledged FIR by Bihar Police will be referred to the CBI.
The top court was hearing actor Rhea Chakraborty’s petition seeking transfer of investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case from Patna in Bihar to Mumbai.
The court said that to ensure public confidence in the investigation and to do complete justice in the matter, it considers it appropriate to invoke the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled: “As a Court exercising lawful jurisdiction for the assigned roster, no impediment is seen for exercise of plenary power in the present matter. 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.”
The SC added: “Because 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 situation, there is reasonable apprehension of truth being a casualty and justice becoming a victim.”
The SC observed: “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 keenlywaiting the outcome of the investigation so that all the speculationfloating 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. The 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.” The SC also said that the registration of FIR is mandated when information on cognizable offence is received by the police. Precedents suggest that at the stage of investigation, it cannot be said that the police station concerned does not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate the case.