The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would take over the investigation of actor Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case. The Daily Guardian spoke to the Bihar Government’s senior counsel Maninder Singh who said that this decision would finally give justice to Sushant and his family.
Q: This is a major victory for the Bihar government and Bihar Police.
A: This isn’t about a victory at all. Someone has lost his life and the police in Maharashtra were refusing to do their job. Now, with the intervention of the Court, Sushant and his family will get justice. The court has to ensure public confidence in the investigation and to do complete justice in the matter, it has invoked its inherent power under Article 142 of the Constitution to accord approval for the CBI probe. The main contention raised by the state of Bihar was that the FIR registered by the state police was valid and they were a competent authority and was validated by the Court.
Q: Why was there a delay from the Mumbai Police’s side to file an FIR and will this verdict now ensure cooperation of Maharashtra side to the CBI?
A: The unfortunate death of Sushant took place on 14 June and the post-mortem report came on the 25th. Any further investigations that had to be taken place by the Maharashtra Police could only be carried out after registering a FIR under the Section 154. Without this, any and all investigations are not permitted by the law. Maharashtra Police never registered an FIR and I don’t know under what jurisdiction they were recording statements and what they were trying to do. This position was accepted by the Supreme Court.
Q: Will the Maharashtra police challenge this judgment?
A: At the time of the judgment, the counsel of Maharashtra police had sought permission to challenge the notification issued by the Central government on 5 August giving the investigation’s responsibility to the CBI, the court declined it and that’s where it stands.
Q: The court observed that it was handing over the investigation to a central agency because of the to and fro allegations between Bihar and Maharashtra Police. What do you have to say about that?
A: It was the stand of the Bihar government, during our filing of the petition in the Court, that the central government ruling to hand the investigation over to the CBI should continue to be followed. Our main point of contention was always the allegations from the other side over Bihar Police’s jurisdiction, the filing of FIR in Bihar and lack of cooperation from Maharashtra in Bihar police’s investigation. We were aggrieved by the questioning of our authority in the matter when we were the competent authority as FIR was filed by us and not Maharashtra. That was vindicated and noted by the SC in its order.