SSR Case: Bombay HC to pronounce verdict, quashing FIR in case against SSR’s sisters

Sushree Mohanty

The Bombay High Court will deliver its judgment on the appeal filed by Priyanka Singh and Meetu Singh, sisters of late bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, for quashing a First Information Report (FIR) filed against them by Bandra Police on September 7, 2020.

The FIR was lodged with the Bandra Police by Rhea Chakraborty, alleged girlfriend of the late actor.

The two-bench judge comprising of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik will be delivering the verdict in the after session on February 15, 2021.

On September 7, 2020, Bandra Police filed a complaint against the sisters based on a  Chakraborty’s claims which stated that Priyanka Singh had sent the Sushant Singh certain medical prescriptions by one Dr Tarun Kumar, a cardiologist appended to Dr. Smash Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi on June 8, 2020.

The medications sent are alleged of  containing psychotropic substances controlled under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

Chakraborty affirmed that the doctor had not examined Sushant and the prescription and consumption of the said medicines “may have caused and contributed to the suicidal death of the actor.”

The sisters had filed a petition before the Bombay High Court through Advocate Madhav Thorat, stating that the allegations against them do not amount to any cognisable offense.

Additionally, the petition claimed that the allegations made against them is an attempt by Chakraborty to cause hindrance in the investigations against her by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and accuse Rajput’s relatives for his suicide, as she was anticipating detainment the by NCB.

Chakraborty was detained by NCB on September 8.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing on behalf of the Rajput sisters had stated that there was a delay in filing the offense since Chakraborty was very much aware of the WhatsApp texts between the late actor and Priyanka Singh on June 8, 2020, yet she filed a grievance on September 7, 2020

Vikas Singh had additionally stated that the Telemedicine Guidelines by the medical council of India allowed the prescription of the said medicines and there was nothing incorrect about the prescribed substances.

The senior Counsel added that the FIR lodged by Bandra Police was non-est according to the law for being a second offense on a similar reason for activity and hence should be struck down on this ground too.

The senior advocate cited on the decision in Jacob Matthew’s case, in which Supreme Court has held that an offense cannot be filed against a license holding medical practitioner.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) upheld the applicants claims by stating that Chakraborty’s charges were “mostly presumptive and speculative in nature” and the said complaint was “vitiated and bad in law”  by reasons of being a second FIR on a similar reason for activity—the demise of Rajput.

Senior Counsel Devdatt Kamat, appearing on behalf of Bandra Police, contended that registering the offense was done in accordance to the legal procedures.

He also added that the medical prescriptions sent by Priyanka Singh to Rajput were a fake document.

Kamat claimed that the WhatsApp texts between the actor and his sister Priyanka Singh indicated that the claims made by the sisters that the medicines was given after an online consultation was fabricated.

He brought up from the reports that someone other than the late actor had gone to Ram Manohar Lohiya Hospital as an indoor patient and got the medicines.

Concerning the dispute of second FIR on a similar reason for activity, Kamat said that the Bandra FIR was filed as a counter-complaint and a FIR that is  registered as a counter-complaint cannot be termed as illegal.

Advocate Satish Maneshinde appeared on behalf of Chakraborty during court proceedings. He had demanded that the situations identifying with Rajput’s suicide case should be re-investigated.

In his defence for filing a complaint with due delay, he contended that Chakraborty knew about the messages exchanged between Sushant Singh and Priyanka Singh on June 8 and Rajput had requested that she leave his home as she objected to consuming the illegally prescribed medicines.

Maneshinde also claimed that Rhea Chakraborty understood that the medications were secured illegally and consumption of the same might have prompted the suicide of the actor after certain other messages were recovered through investigation.

Maneshinde had additionally asked the court to permit the investigations concerning Chakraborty’s charges, claiming that for a situation of abetment to suicide, proximate reasons are generally relied upon and since the medicines prescribed was dated June 8, 2020 and Sushant Singh Rajput had taken his life six days after the fact, it very well may be the most proximate explanation for his demise.

The late actor was discovered dead at his Bandra home in Mumbai on June 14, 2020. His passing was at first treated as suicide by the Mumbai Police yet a thorough investigation followed after Rajput’s relatives claimed a murder and association of his alleged girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty.

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