Sushant Singh Rajput's friend Rhea Chakraborty -- who sought a transfer of the case filed against her in Patna to Mumbai -- on Thursday said the Central Bureau of Investigation should stay away till the Supreme Court has given its verdict on the issue. An investigation by the CBI at this point will be "totally illegal and beyond any known legal principles, affecting the Federal Structure of the Nation," she said in a statement.
The CBI filed a case against Ms Chakraborty and a five others on Thursday after a request from the Bihar government.
But Ms Chakraborty argued that it is Maharashtra police and not the Bihar police who should have jurisdiction over any case, since Sushant Singh Rajput died in Mumbai. "The Bihar Government transferred a case with which it had NO Jurisdiction to investigate, to CBI instead of The Mumbai Police," her statement read.
Maharashtra is yet to agree to a CBI investigation and going by the rules, without the state government's acceptance, the agency cannot question people in the state.
Sushant Singh Rajput died at his Mumbai apartment on June 14, the police said it was a case of suicide. But after a huge controversy over allegations that the talented, upcoming actor was driven to his death due to nepotism and cut-throat rivalry in Bollywood, they are conducting an investigation. More than 40 personalities linked to the Hindi film industry have already been questioned.
Sushant Singh Rajput's Patna-based family, have meanwhile, filed a case against Ms Chakraborty, accusing her and her family of financial fraud, subjecting the actor to mental harassment and driving him to suicide.
Ms Chakraborty, who sought a transfer of the case to Mumbai, also went to Supreme Court. In a petition, she said she did not expect fair trial in Bihar, where Sushant Rajput's father KK Rajput was part of the Bihar police.
"The SC has directed all parties to file their replies and Mumbai Police are directed to place the report of investigations. Pending the said proceedings the CBI has registered (case) and continued the illegality which was perpetrated at the hands of Bihar Police. CBI being a premier investigative agency in the country should desist from taking any further steps pending the SC proceedings," Ms Chakraborty's statement read.
The tussle between Bihar and Maharashtra is seen as a politicization of the case ahead of the assembly elections in Bihar, due later this year.
After days of pressure from the opposition, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sought a CBI inquiry into the case. The government said it could not have sought an inquiry from the premier investigative agency without a request from the family.
The BJP, which rules Bihar in alliance with Nitish Kumar, has kept up the pressure on the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra, questioning why the state was not keen on a CBI investigation.
Following speculation about his involvement in the case, Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray lashed out yesterday, saying it was "not a crime" to have "personal relationships" in the film industry. The allegations of his involvement, he said, was "dirty politics".