After the Supreme Court ordered a CBI investigation into the Sushant Singh Rajput case in a verdict seen as a setback for the Maharashtra government, senior politician Sharad Pawar posted tweets today that assured full cooperation but also delivered a sharp message.
Sharad Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is a part of the state's ruling Shiv Sena-led coalition, said he "hoped the investigation will not be carried on" and remain "unresolved". He referred to the 2013 murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, also being investigated by the CBI.
"I am sure the Maharashtra government will respect the judgement of the Supreme Court to handover Sushant Singh Rajput's case to the CBI and fully cooperate in the investigation process," Mr Pawar tweeted.
I am sure the Maharashtra Govt will respect the judgement of the Supreme Court to handover Sushant Singh Rajput's case to the CBI and fully cooperate in the investigation process.— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) August 20, 2020
"I hope the investigation will not be carried on, as was done with Dr Narendra Dabholkar's murder case also under investigation by the CBI which commenced in 2014 and remains unresolved," he wrote.
I hope the investigation will not be carried on, as was done with Dr Narendra Dabholkar's murder case also under investigation by the #CBI which commenced in 2014 and remains unresolved.— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) August 20, 2020
Mr Pawar's views on a CBI inquiry into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput had touched a nerve within his own family. When Parth Pawar, the son of his nephew and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, called for a CBI investigation, Mr Pawar had called him "immature". It was seen to refer to the younger Pawar's unusual move to ask his own party leader Anil Deshmukh, who heads the state home ministry, to hand over investigations to the CBI.
"Parth Pawar is immature and his demand of CBI inquiry is not worth considering," the NCP patriarch had said, a comment that reportedly upset both his nephew and grand-nephew. The comment also left the Maharashtra government, especially the NCP, facing criticism amid calls for a CBI inquiry from the actor's family, fans, celebrities and others.
Soon after the Supreme Court on Wednesday said the CBI would handle all investigations into the case, Parth Pawar tweeted: "Satyameva Jayate (the truth prevails)."
Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, died on June 14. The Mumbai police had been investigating whether depression and intense Bollywood rivalries may have been the cause. A month into its investigation, Bihar launched its own inquiry based on the actor's family's complaint and subsequently handed over the case to the CBI.
Upholding that decision, the Supreme Court asked the Mumbai police to hand over all evidence so far to the CBI and said it must be determined "whether the unnatural death of Sushant Singh Rajput was result of any criminal act".