On June 14, 2020, Sushant Singh Rajput met an untimely death. News broke that he committed suicide in his apartment. People close to him in the film fraternity he was suffering from depression. The mental illness was put forth as a reason for this drastic measure.
Netizens on Twitter noticed suspicious injury marks and bruises on his body. They raised doubts of foul play in the circumstances of the death of Sushant. There was a call for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident. Multiple agencies are investigating the case as of today.
After the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, actress Kangana Ranaut levelled allegations against several big names in Bollywood. She claimed that they abetted the suicide of the late actor. The claims made by Kangana Ranaut led to an investigation of the case.
Kangana Ranaut accused a segment of the film industry of not acknowledging the work of the late actor. She blamed media houses Yash Raj Films (YRF) and Dharma Productions for deliberately sabotaging the career of Sushant. She added that Aditya Chopra ensured Ranveer Singh got the projects denied to Sushant. Film critic Rajeev Masand was criticized for writing blind items in newspapers.
The Mumbai police called Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Kangana Ranaut, Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Mahesh Bhatt, Rhea Chakraborty and other people from the industry for interrogation. Despite receiving the final postmortem report stating, “No struggle marks and external injuries” were found on the body, Mumbai police continued the investigation without filing a First Information Report (FIR). The investigation of Bollywood personalities continued for 40 days.
The conduct of the Mumbai police raised eyebrows. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), Section 154, the police have a time frame of seven days to file an FIR after investigation. The police did not do so. This inaction raised demands for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Central Bureau of Investigation
Father of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Mr KK Singh, lodged an FIR in Patna on July 25. He named Rhea Chakraborty, Samuel Miranda and others who had access to Sushant at his house. The case lodged against Rhea and others included provisions of abetment of suicide (IPC 306), cheating and dishonesty (IPC 420), criminal breach of trust (IPC 420), IPC 120 (B). Rhea Chakraborty, in turn, filed a case against the sisters of the actor. The sisters Priyanka and Meetu are under investigation. They face charges of forgery and wrong prescription of medication.
The CBI started its investigation after the Supreme Court settled the matter of jurisdiction between the states of Bihar and Maharashtra. The court stated the CBI would investigate all cases related to the death of Sushant.
The investigative agency recreated the crime scene at the location. It interrogated his flatmate Santhosh Pithani, girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, his staff and his friends and family. Forensic experts from CFSL (Central Forensic Science Laboratory) examined the incident to aid the investigation. It sought a second opinion from the doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). This was done as doctors at Cooper Hospital did not follow the prescribed protocol for conducting an autopsy.
According to the law, the investigating agency must file a charge sheet within 90 days. Yet, the CBI has not filed a charge sheet. Nor has it yet declared if it is a case of suicide or murder. A PIL filed by a petitioner in the Supreme Court seeking direction asking the CBI to submit a status report was dismissed. The petitioner was asked to approach the High Court.
The actor’s father, Mr KK Singh, accused Rhea Chakraborty of siphoning ₨ 15 crore from the accounts of his son Sushant. He accused the actress of befriending his son to further her career. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probed the allegations of mishandling of money and bank accounts. They would determine if the money of Mr Rajput was laundered or used to create illegal assets.
The agency also focused on the companies owned by Sushant Singh Rajput. He owned three companies. All of them were set up between 2018 and 2020 The first one, Innsaei Ventures, was set up by Sushant Singh and entrepreneur Varun Mathur. The company focused on many verticals like films, health, education, virtual reality and intellectual property.
The second company he owned was Vividrage Rhealytix. The company was founded in 2019 It focused on artificial intelligence, exponential technology, mixed reality and experiential technology. His third company was an NGO ‘Front India for World Foundation’, set up in 2020 It focused on poverty alleviation and eradication of hunger.
Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty were directors of two of these companies. They were directors of Vividrage Rhealytix and Front India for World Foundation. Both the companies were registered at the same address – Flat No. A -503, Sai Fortune, Plot No. 15, Sector 8, Ulwe, Navi Mumbai, PANVEL Raigarh, Maharashtra.
After examining the evidence, scope and magnitude of business dealings, the ED filed a money laundering case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Examining digital evidence led to the discovery of WhatsApp chats between Rhea and Jaya Saha about administering drugs to Sushant. The drug angle emerging in the investigation led to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). There is no further information about the investigation of the ED in the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
Narcotics Control Bureau
The WhatsApp chats between Rhea, her brother Showik, Samuel Miranda, Dipesh Sawant and Jaya Saha exposed the drug menace in Bollywood. The chats revealed that Samuel Miranda and Rhea Chakraborty were using the funds of Sushant for their purpose. The conversations further revealed that Rhea was procuring and using the narcotic substance of weed in various forms illegally since 2017. During interrogation by the NCB officials, Rhea Chakraborty named fashion designer Simone Khambatta and actresses Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh. Former managers of Sushant Singh Rajput, Jaya Saha and Shruti Modi named more people.
Jaya Saha, a talent manager at KWAN Talent Management Agency, disclosed that CBD oil was procured for Sushant, Rhea Chakraborty, Shraddha Kapoor and producer Madhu Mantena. The name of Karishma Prakash, former manager of Deepika Padukone, cropped up during the investigation. This led to NCB summoning Deepika Padukone. Other actors associated with the industry have also been questioned. Talent management agencies KWAN and Cornerstone came under the purview of the probe.
The investigation into the drug menace in Bollywood hit the Kannada Film Industry as well. Actresses Sanjana and Ragini Dwivedi were arrested in the drugs case. NCB has conducted multiple raids at multiple locations. Many arrests have taken place. During the investigation, the agency summoned an aide of Dawood Ibrahim, Raziq Chikna and arrested his brother Danish from Rajasthan.
The NCB, in March, filed its charge sheet in the Sushant Singh Rajput drugs case. NCB Chief Sameer Wankhede himself was present during the filing of the charge sheet. The charge sheet runs into more than 30,000 pages.
The charge sheet named a total of 33 people. Rhea Chakraborty is named along with drug peddlers and other accused. Mr KK Singh is once again in the news. He filed a plea in the Delhi High Court to restrain anyone from using his son’s name or likeness in movies.
“The plaintiff has apprehension of that various plays, movies, web-series, books, interviews or other material may be published which would harm the reputation of the son of the plaintiff and his family”, claimed the suit.