A single Judge Bench comprising of Justice Hrishikesh Roy of Supreme Court invoked Article 142 of Indian Constitution that permits it to exercise its jurisdiction, to order CBI probe into Sushant Singh Rajput's death case by suicide.
Article 142 elucidates that “the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is mandatory for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.” The main object of Article 142(1) is that the Supreme Court must not be obliged to depend upon the executive for the enforcement of its decrees and orders.
The order was made by the Apex Court on a transfer petition filed by the deceased Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, who wanted the case that was lodged in Patna to be transferred to Mumbai Police as FIR was registered against her at Patna and the Patna Police & Bihar Government insisted on transferring the probe to CBI and the SC Judge upheld Bihar Police’s jurisdiction to register a criminal case in connection with the suicide, and transfer of the probe to the central agency (CBI).
Before all this, an enormous war-of-words broke out amongst the Mumbai Police and Bihar Police over jurisdiction of this case and the Maharashtra Government claimed that Mumbai Police was carrying out an effective probe into the case. Even some Maharashtra BJP leaders have also made statements that Rajput and his manager Disha Salian were 'murdered'.
Why CBI Probe is granted?
- The Court believed that the CBI probe will retain public confidence and belief in the impartial working of State agencies.
- The Court said that the accusations with respect to criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal misappropriation of money indicates the jurisdiction of the Patna Police.
- The Mumbai Police is also required to hand over the evidences collected to the CBI in order to avoid uncertainty and confusion.
- There is no illegality in handing over the case to the CBI for a probe and justice should prevail for both the deceased and the living.
The court rejected the plea by Chakraborty to transfer the case to Mumbai since the cause of action to investigate this matter arose at Patna. The Maharashtra government’s claim that only Mumbai Police has the mandate to probe the case was also turned down by the Supreme Court. The court said the state never chose to challenge the probe, and it was Rhea Chakraborty who sought a transfer of the case.
The order of the Supreme Court to transfer the probe to CBI was made under Article 142 to which the SC stated that the order came “to ensure public confidence in the investigation process and to do absolute justice in the matter, this court considers it suitable to invoke the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Indian Constitution. As a court exercising lawful jurisdiction for the assigned roster, no hindrance is seen for the exercise of a plenary power in the present matter,"
The Bihar Police had registered the FIR at the wish of Sushant Singh Rajput’s father. The ‘zero’ FIR (that means the FIR doesn’t have a number) accused his girlfriend of criminal breach of trust, cheating, and defalcation of money from his account.
In compliance to the Supreme Court’s order, CBI registered a case against six accused and others in Sushant Singh Rajput death case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enumerated that after getting the notification from the GOI, the agency will be in the process of registration of the case. The CBI has named some suspects in the case; Rhea Chakraborty, Indrajit Chakraborty (father), Sandhya Chakraborty (mother), Showik Chakraborty (brother), Sushant Singh Rajput's house manager Samuel Miranda, Shruti Modi, and some other unknown suspects.
Even one of the important incidents of the application by the Supreme Court of Article 142 was in the Union Carbide case relating to the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy where the Supreme Court felt a need to deviate from existing law to bring relief to the general public affected by the gas leak. In the present case, there is no prima facie record found that there is any wrongdoing by the Mumbai Police yet the restriction imposed by them on the Bihar Police team at Mumbai would have created a chaos and justice should prevail in every case. Hence, the Sushant Singh Rajput case shifted to CBI.