In a serious twist in the actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case, the Bihar government on Tuesday decided to recommend a CBI inquiry into the sensational death by suicide case of the Bollywood star on a request from his father, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said.
Kumar said on being informed by the Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey about his talk with the late actor's father K K Singh seeking an inquiry by the central investigating agency into the matter, he told the DGP to get a proposal ready immediately and send it to the state government.
"The state government will formally recommend the case to be handed over to the CBI today itself after completing all the procedures and formalities", the CM said.
The development comes a day before the Supreme Court is slated to hear a petition of Rajput's rumoured girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, an accused in the FIR filed in Patna, seeking transfer of the case to Mumbai, where an investigation in the matter is already on.
Meanwhile, Chakraborty’s lawyer said the Bihar government cannot recommend a CBI probe in actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death when police from that state do not have any jurisdiction to even investigate the case.
"There cannot be transfer of a case which had no legal basis to begin with for the Bihar police to get involved. At the most, it would be a Zero FIR which would then be transferred to Mumbai Police, Chakraborty's lawyer Satish Maneshinde said in a statement.
The state governments of Bihar and Maharashtra have already filed separate caveats in the top court seeking to be heard before any order is passed on Chakraborty's plea. The father of the late actor has also filed a caveat in the apex court.
A close associate of the Bihar CM said, that Rajput's father made a plea for the CBI inquiry citing hurdles created by the Mumbai police to the investigating team of the Patna police to prevent fair probe.
After series of complaints against the Mumbai police for not cooperating with the four-member Patna police probe team, the acrimony between Maharashtra and Bihar police over jurisdictional issues escalated after an IPS officer, who had landed in Mumbai on Sunday for leading the SIT probe in the case, was quarantined under the COVID-19 regulations in force in the city.
The development was deplored by the Bihar chief minister who termed it "inappropriate and forcible".
Bihar police chief Gupteshwar Pandey has said that they have lodged a formal protest with the Mumbai municipal authorities over the "forcible quarantine" of Vinay Tiwari who was on official duty.
Regarding decision to hand over the inquiry to the federal agency, Kumar said, "I have been saying that the state government will recommend a CBI probe if the father (Sushants father) asks for it.
It may be noted that deceased actors 74-year-old father had lodged an FIR against actress Rhea Chakraborty and others in Patna on July 25 in connection with his sons death.
A police team from Patna had left for Mumbai on July 27 and began its probe.
The matter came up in the Bihar Legislative Assembly Monday where Legislators cutting across party lines unanimously demanded for a CBI probe into the case.
The demand was first raised by Neeraj Kumar Singh "Bablu", a BJP MLA who also happens to be the deceased stars cousin.
Later, other members belonging to almost all parties including RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav demanded for a CBI probe into the actors death case.
Bablu's wife Nutan Singh, a BJP MLC, also raised the issue in the legislative council, where too all the members strongly favoured a fair probe by the country's premier investigating agency into the Patna born actor's mysterious death case.
Meanwhile, in a startling claim, Rajput's father said he had forewarned Mumbai police about threat to the 34-year-old actor's life way back in February but it failed to take note of it and also did not act upon complaints against named persons a day after his death in June.
Both Mumbai and Patna police are probing the case parallelly.
Rajput, who impressed his audience with his performances during his short but promising career, was found hanging in his rented apartment in Mumbai's Bandra on June 14.