The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case over "suspicious transactions" worth Rs 15 crore in connection with the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The case was filed after the agency took note of a FIR by Bihar Police, which is investigating the Rs 15 crore transaction from the actor's account and proceeds from the alleged crime, as claimed by his family.
Sources in the agency told NDTV it had registered an ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) on Friday and that it would "look into the allegation of suspicious transactions in the bank account of the actor. Suspected persons will be issued summons early next week to join the probe".
Police from Bihar's Patna have camped in Mumbai for the past three days, inquiring into transactions and investments of two companies set up by Mr Rajput with his girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, and her brother.
Their probe, set off by a complaint from Mr Rajput's father that accuses Ms Chakraborty of illegally transferring money from his son's account and mentally harassing him, focusses on whether the investments were legal.
This morning Bihar Police, which finds itself in a turf war with their Mumbai counterparts over jurisdiction, insisted it would follow the money trail. Legal experts have questioned their jurisdiction in this case as the alleged crime happened in Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police are conducting a detailed investigation of their own - into angles like professional rivalry and unfair treatment that caused the actor to be side-lined in Bollywood. Cops in Mumbai have also looked into his finances.
Mumbai Police sources have, however, told NDTV that the family made no mention of suspicions of or allegations about Ms Chakraborty and Mr Rajput's finances when they first met top officers after the actor's death. The family also did not allege anything in written statements as well, the sources said.
The Enforcement Directorate, which cannot begin a money laundering probe unless there is a scheduled offence in an FIR, had earlier asked for a copy of the document and other details from Bihar Police.
The agency could not proceed on action taken by Mumbai Police so far, because the cops have yet to register an FIR in this matter; they are, at present, only conducting inquest proceedings. The FIR by Bihar Police lists cheating and criminal conspiracy as charges, both of which are offences under the PMLA.
The tug-of-war between Bihar and Mumbai cops has been called out Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who today accused the latter of obstruction.
"Mumbai police is putting obstruction in the way of a fair investigation by Bihar police in Sushant Singh Rajput death case. BJP feels that CBI should take over this case," Mr Modi tweeted.
Mumbai police is putting obstruction in way of fair investigation by Bihar police in Sushant death case.Bihar police is doing its best but Mumbai police is not co operating .Bjp feel that CBI shud take over this case.— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) July 31, 2020
The Bihar government has also decided to support the actor's family in court.
The Nitish Kumar government said it would file a caveat in the Supreme Court blocking Ms Chakraborty's efforts to transfer the case against her to Mumbai.
Mr Rajput's father has already asked the Supreme Court to hear him before deciding on Ms Chakraborty's petition to transfer the case from Patna to Mumbai.
Earlier this week Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ruled out handing the case over to the CBI, saying there was "no question" of that happening. As with the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI has no jurisdiction in the case even if the Bihar government recommends it probe the matter.
The CBI cannot enter Maharashtra, where the alleged crime took place, with approval from the Uddhav Thackeray government. However, should either the High Court or the Supreme Court transfer the case, then the CBI can enter.
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, had died by suicide at his Mumbai apartment in June, the police have said.