The Bombay High Court today reserved its verdict in the plea moved by Priyanka and Meetu Singh, sisters of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput seeking to quash the FIR lodged against them by the Mumbai Police in a complaint filed by actress Rhea Chakraborty.
Before reserving the judgment, Justice SS Shinde made an oral observation that “from his (Rajput’s) face, one can make out that he was innocent and sober and very good human being. Even in MS Dhoni, everybody liked him, especially in that film.”
The Division Bench which included Justice MS Karnik heard the arguments of all parties before reserving its verdict.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the sisters, submitted that there was inordinate delay in filing of the FIR which was not explained by Chakraborty. He argued that there was a delay of 91 days which was evident from the alleged WhatsApp chats.
Singh pointed out that the allegations regarding prescription of banned medicines were baseless, as the medicines could have been prescribed to a patient in the first consultation as per the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines.
He submitted that the Mumbai Police had no right to register a case on the condition that some cognizable offence was made out as the investigation had been transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by way of a Supreme Court order.
Referring to CBI’s reply to the plea, he pointed out that there seemed to be no evidence against the sisters.
He concluded by stating,
“The FIR is a counter case. The way she has listed the events points out chain of events pointing out some other accused and then there are other events claimed which point out other accused. But then this is part of same investigation which is being conducted by CBI.”
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh reiterated that the CBI has taken over the investigation and therefore the police “should have only registered the complaint and transferred the case to CBI.”
Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat chimed in to point out that the police did exactly that; they registered a complaint and then transferred it to CBI.
Kamat invited the Court’s attention to the purported prescription and extracts of the WhatsApp chats supplied by Chakraborty to point out that the medicines were being prescribed without online consultation.
He further added that the medicines which were prescribed appeared in the list of psychotropic substances under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Kamat clarified that the reason for inviting the Court’s attention to the evidence was only to show that there was reasonable doubt against the sisters, due to which complaint was registered.
“I am not saying this way or that. It is a matter for investigation. But then prima facie there is doubt”, Kamath clarified.
Advocate Satish Maneshinde, appearing for Rhea Chakraborty, apprised the Court of the events that led to the filing of her complaint to explain the delay.
He stated that although “Chakraborty was aware that Rajput was taking medications and they had altercations on that point, she was not aware of the prescription.”
Maneshinde informed the Court that after the prescription was leaked on social media, Chakraborty realised that the medicines were bought through these prescriptions, which could be a cause for his suicide.
He added that she approached the Mumbai Police because she could not have filed a complaint with the CBI.
“CBI is not a filing station”, he claimed.
Maneshinde concluded his submissions by pointing out that Chakraborty’s FIR brought forth a different chain of events than what was being claimed by Rajput’s family.
“The circumstances that I am pointing out that should also be examined. His family is concerned with the cause if his death. So, if this leads to finding answers, then what is the harm?”
After hearing the counsel, the Court allowed the parties to submit their written submissions and reserved its verdict.
Rajput’s sisters had moved the High Court moved to quash the FIR after Chakraborty filed a complaint with the Bandra Police.
The FIR disclosed charges against the sisters and Dr. Tarun Kumar of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Chakraborty alleged that the sisters conspired with Dr. Kumar to obtain a false prescription for administering banned medicines to the late Sushant Singh Rajput.