Sushant Rajput’s family lawyer Nitin Saluja says the charge of Chakraborty blackmailing him needs to be investigated.


New Delhi: Krishna Kishore Singh, father of deceased Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, has moved the Supreme Court to file a caveat to pre-empt any ex-parte order on the plea filed by actress Rhea Chakraborty. The Sunday Guardian spoke to advocate-on-record Nitin Saluja who had filed the caveat on his client’s behalf. Excerpts:

Q: Why do you believe that the death of Sushant Singh Rajput was a murder?

A: See, the circumstances that are coming out daily are surrounded with suspicion. Now, it is the job of the police to find out if it is a murder and that will only be done when there is an effective investigation. It is for the police to connect one dot with the other and complete the chain of circumstances. Police can start with abetment of suicide and then they can reach a conclusion whether there was a murder or whether there was not a murder during the investigation.

Q: Why do you believe that his former partner Rhea Chakraborty is involved in the incident?

A: She is a person who lived with Sushant Singh Rajput, she was with him just six days before his death, they were in a live-in relationship, she knew everything about his lifestyle. As per whatever information is available, she changed all his servants, there was some fight with his sister which is now coming out. These are the circumstances sufficient to point a finger at her.

Q: Media trial, in case of the death of a celebrity, has become a norm now. Do you believe that the same is happening in case of Sushant Singh Rajput?

A: Media has become both a boon and a curse (in such cases). In the Divya Bharati case, since there was no media, there was no result. In Jiah Khan’s case, the media played a part in highlighting the circumstances, the trial is still pending. Sometimes the victim does not have a voice, so the media helps in becoming his or her voice.

Q: Mumbai police has released a statement that Sushant Rajput’s relative never approached them for an FIR. How would you respond to this?

A: A father lost his young son. Thereafter, he was asked this question immediately (to register a case formally by the Mumbai police). What I know is that the father had approached the Mumbai police for preventive action before. But even otherwise, if there was no formal complaint lodged immediately, it does not make much of a difference. In a rape case, a rape survivor does not need to answer immediately, she is shattered and traumatized. She can register an FIR after many days. The court has stated this. Similar is the case here. The law in India does not have a limitation clause in such cases. I can file a murder complaint even after 10 years down the line of the incident.

Q: Media reports, quoting psychiatrists who claim that they were treating Sushant Rajput, have emerged which have stated that he was suffering from bipolar disorder. How do his family members see this? Were they aware of this? And assuming he was seeking psychiatric help, how does that impact the case?

A: Contrary views have come out stating, quoting witnesses, that he was not depressed. This needs to be investigated by the police and they have to arrive at a conclusion. Also, even if we assume that he was taking the help of a psychiatrist, that does not affect the case much. I will not be able to answer whether his family members were aware of Sushant Rajput seeking help or not.

Q: Certain allegations against Rhea Chakraborty have been mentioned in the FIR filed by Sushant Rajput’s father which includes Chakraborty blackmailing him by stating that she will make his medical history public. How did this aspect come to light?

A: I cannot comment on it. But this is something that is in their (Rajput’s family members) domain and this is something that needs to be investigated.

Q: Do you believe that the CBI will have access to untampered evidence, considering the crime scene and other things associated with the death of Sushant Rajput have already been “examined” multiple times and the fact that the Mumbai police is being accused of “botching” the investigations?

A: CBI is an expert in this field; in most cases, it is given a case after a long time and not immediately. They are used to cases where they have been asked to investigate the case after a long delay. A lot of evidence in this case is related to the business activities (of Rajput) that were going on in the last few days.

Q: The Supreme court on Wednesday refused to give protection from “coercive action” to Chakraborty. How significant a step would you consider it?

A: This is very crucial because when you ask a question to someone who is in custody and when you ask the question when he or she is not in custody, there is a lot of difference in the answer.