Bihar police chief Gupteshwar Pandey on Thursday warned of legal action if an IPS officer, who had gone to Mumbai to probe actor Sushant Singh Rajput death case, was not released from 'forcible quarantine' by the end of the day.
Pandey expressed bewilderment over no positive response from the municipal authorities in Mumbai, whom he accused of keeping IPS officer Vinay Tiwari in virtual house arrest, despite being informed about the adverse remarks made by Supreme Court against their action.
Talking to reporters, the Director General of Police said he will consult the state's Advocate General on the matter and, if Tiwari, posted as SP, City (East) in Patna, was not allowed to leave by Thursday, moving the court could be an option.
It is a virtual house arrest. Our officer went to Mumbai after informing his counterparts there in writing and over phone. I too had sent an SMS to my counterpart in Maharashtra informing him that Tiwari will be there for three days and shared with him the details, Pandey said.
Tiwari had requested for an accommodation in the IPS Mess, which was not granted. We let it go. But his forcible quarantine shortly after his reaching Mumbai is unacceptable. The IG, Patna Zone, wrote to the BMC chief quoting the guidelines of the Maharashtra government under which Tiwari could have been exempted from quarantine. It elicited no positive response, he lamented.
Pandey said on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court also frowned upon the treatment meted out to Tiwari and called it 'unprofessional', the IGP again contacted the municipal authorities, but nothing came of it.
"We shall now be waiting till the end of the day and consulting the Advocate General in the meantime. If all else fails, moving the court could be an option," Pandey added.
Meanwhile, a four-member team of Patna police which had been camping in Mumbai for more than a week and carrying out investigation in the matter, returned from the western metropolis but refused to be drawn into any controversy relating to the matter.
All went fine. We carried out our probe as per the instructions of our seniors. Whatever our findings have been, we will share these with our higher-ups, the officials said in response to a barrage of questions from journalists in Patna upon arrival.
They also side-stepped queries about reported non-cooperation by the Mumbai police.
During their stay in Mumbai, they recorded the statements of Rajput's sister, his former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande, director Rumi Jaffrey, the late actor's flatmate Siddharth Pithani, his manager, cook, doctors among others, a member of the team earier said before leaving for Bihar.
The team had also visited some banks to look into the financial transactions made from Rajput's accounts.
The 34-year-old actor was found dead inside his Bandra residence on June 14 last and an FIR was lodged by his father K K Singh, who resides in Patna, at a local police station on July 25.
A tug of war ensued between the governments of the two states with Maharashtra contending that Bihar had no jurisdiction in the matter since the death took place outside the state.
A petition challenging Bihar police's jurisdiction to probe the case was also filed in the Supreme Court by actress Rhea Chakraborty, who along with her family members has been named as the main accused in the first information report lodged by Rajput's father.
She has been accused of abetting the actor's suicide, keeping him in wrongful confinement, and defrauding him of crores of rupees.
The impasse led the bereaved father to call up Pandey and request that the matter be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation which was followed, the same day, by a recommendation to the effect by the Nitish Kumar government.
The Centre, too, issued a notification approving the recommendation, in an apparent rebuff to the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-
Congress government in Maharashtra that there was no need to hand over the matter to the CBI.