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Unfair media trial causing extreme trauma: Rhea to SC

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
August 10, 2020 21:43 IST
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Actress Rhea Chakraborty on Monday told the Supreme Court the Sushant Singh Rajput death case has been blown out of proportion as elections are due in Bihar and claimed she was being subjected to media trial due to "constant sensationalisation" causing her "extreme trauma".

IMAGE: Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik leave after a fresh round of questioning by ED in connection with a probe in a money laundering case linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, in Mumbai. Photograph: PTI Photo

Chakraborty, 28, also submitted in an additional affidavit filed in the apex court she should not be made "scapegoat of political agendas" in the case, and alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is "reported to be responsible for registration of the FIR in Patna" against her. There was no immediate reaction from the Bihar government to the allegation.

 

The submission by the actress in a 12-page affidavit in which she said the "constant sensationalisation" was causing extreme trauma and infringement of privacy of her rights came a day ahead of the next hearing of her plea for transfer of the Bihar police FIR against her from Patna to Mumbai.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has since taken over the probe after the Centre gave its approval following a recommendation by the Bihar government.

It has re-registered the Bihar police's First Information Report of alleged criminal conspiracy and abetment to suicide against Chakraborty, who was Rajput's girlfriend. Others named in the FIR are Rhea's brother Showik Chakraborty, father Indrajit Chakraborty, mother Sandhya Chakraborty, Rajput's house manager Samuel Miranda and Shruti Modi, the business manager of Rhea and Rajput.

The FIR was based on the complaint of Rajput's 77-year-old father Krishna Kishore Singh, a resident of Patna.

The Mumbai police had been also probing the alleged suicide following an accidental death report complaint lodged by Bandra police. Rajput, 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14.

The Enforcement Directorate, meanwhile, began a fresh round of questioning of Chakraborty and her family members in connection with its probe in a money laundering case linked to Rajput's death.

Rhea, Showik and her father reported at the office of the central probe agency in the Ballard Estate area in Mumbai around 11 am in response to their scheduled summons for Monday, officials said.

Later, Shruti Modi also reported at the ED office.

All the four were questioned by the agency on August 7 too.

"Investigation into financial scams of thousands of crores by Enforcement Directorate & CBI never see the light of the day and at drop of a hat, cases gets registered even without there being a jurisdiction in the foundational case," Chakraborty's affidavit claimed.

In a sub-heading 'SENSATIONALISING AND MEDIA TRIAL' in the affidavit, Chakraborty said she has already been "convicted" by the media in the matter even before any foul play has been established.

She also contended that the media had convicted the accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case and the Aarushi Talwar case in "similar fashion" but later the accused were found innocent by the courts.

"The issue is blown out of proportion in media. Media channels are examining and cross-examining all the witnesses in the case. Petitioner (Chakraborty) is already convicted by media even before a foul play in the death of Sushant Singh Rajput is established," it alleged, adding, "Petitioner urges before this court that she should be protected and not be made scapegoat of political agendas".

Chakraborty contended she has "no objection" if the top court refers the case to CBI by its order and even if the CBI investigates the matter the jurisdiction will still be with the courts at Mumbai and not at Patna.

The affidavit by the actress which stated that the "ruling party in Bihar and Centre is same and the said party is in minority in the state of Maharashtra", also alleged that the purported transfer of the case to a Patna court and further to the CBI on August 4 is only to render her petition in the apex court infructuous.

It alleged that the transfer of investigation to the CBI by Bihar Police is "illegal and bad in law".

In her additional affidavit, she said two actors--Ashutosh Bhakre and Sameer Sharma--were reported to have committed suicide in the last one month and "yet no whisper about the same in power corridors."

"In case of death of Sushant Singh Rajput, Chief Minister of Bihar is reported to be responsible for registration of FIR in Patna," the affidavit claimed, adding, "The sad incident of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput who hailed from Bihar unfortunately occurred just in wake of elections in Bihar. This has led to the issue of suicide of deceased being isolated and blown out of proportion." Assembly elections in Bihar are due in October-November this year.

Referring to a provision of the CrPC, which deals with offence triable where the act is done or consequence ensues, the affidavit said it appeared to have been "misconstrued to usurp jurisdiction in Bihar under political pressure".

"From a plain reading of FIR, neither any such act which is done in the State of Bihar, nor any such consequence which has ensued in State of Bihar, is forthcoming by reason of which such act and consequence is an offence, out of any alleged in the FIR," it said, adding that jurisdiction lies only with the jurisdictional court in Maharashtra.

It alleged that admittedly the case registered by the Bihar Police was transferred to CBI for the reasons of 'sensitivity' and 'inter-state ramifications'.

"The concept of sensitivity is alien to criminal jurisprudence. There is not even a remote whisper of any material to support the theory of 'inter-state ramification', it said,

Recently, Mumbai Police filed an affidavit in the apex court opposing a CBI probe in the Rajput's death case and said that it was carrying out an impartial investigation in the matter.

Rajput's father too has filed a reply affidavit before the court in which he has defended the Bihar Police action and accused the Mumbai police of negligence.

In her plea filed in the apex court, Chakraborty has alleged that Rajput's father has used his 'influence' in dragging her name in the FIR.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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