Sushant Singh Rajput = Petition under section 406 of the Code of Criminal Procedure read with Order XXXIX of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 with prayer for transfer of the FIR No. 241 of 2020 (dated 25.7.2020) under Sections 341, 342, 380, 406, 420, 306, 506 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for short “IPC”) registered at the Rajeev Nagar Police Station, Patna and all consequential proceedings, from the jurisdiction of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate III, Patna Sadar, Page 2 of 35 to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bandra Mumbai. The matter relates to the unnatural death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput on 14.6.2020, at his Bandra residence at Mumbai.= when integrity and credibility of the investigation is discernible, the trust, faith and confidence of the common man in the judicial process will resonate. When truth meets sunshine, justice will not prevail on the living alone but after Life’s fitful fever, now the departed will also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate As a Court exercising lawful jurisdiction for the assigned roster, no impediment is seen for exercise of plenary power in the present matter. Therefore while according approval for the ongoing CBI investigation, if any other case is registered on the death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the Page 35 of 35 surrounding circumstances of his unnatural death, the CBI is directed to investigate the new case as well. It is ordered accordingly.

Page 1 of 35
[REPORTABLE]
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
Transfer Petition (Crl.) No.225 of 2020
Rhea Chakraborty Petitioner
Versus
State of Bihar & Ors. Respondent(s)
JUDGMENT
Hrishikesh Roy, J.

  1. This Transfer Petition is filed under section 406
    of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short
    “CrPC”) read with Order XXXIX of the Supreme Court
    Rules, 2013 with prayer for transfer of the FIR
    No. 241 of 2020 (dated 25.7.2020) under Sections 341,
    342, 380, 406, 420, 306, 506 and 120B of the Indian
    Penal Code, 1860 (for short “IPC”) registered at the
    Rajeev Nagar Police Station, Patna and all
    consequential proceedings, from the jurisdiction of the
    Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate III, Patna Sadar,
    Page 2 of 35
    to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bandra
    Mumbai. The matter relates to the unnatural death of
    the actor Sushant Singh Rajput on 14.6.2020, at his
    Bandra residence at Mumbai. The deceased resided
    within Bandra Police Station jurisdiction and there
    itself, the unnatural death under section 174 of CrPC
    was reported.
  2. The petitioner is a friend of the deceased, and she
    too is in the acting field since last many years. As
    regards the allegations against the petitioner in the
    FIR, the petitioner claims that she has been falsely
    implicated in the Patna FIR, filed by Krishan Kishor
    Singh (respondent no. 2) – the father of the deceased
    actor. The petitioner and the deceased were in a livein relationship but on 8.6.2020, a few days prior to
    the death of the actor, she had shifted to her own
    residence at Mumbai. According to the petitioner, the
    Mumbai Police is competent to undertake the
    investigation, even for the FIR lodged at Patna.
  3. Heard Mr. Shyam Divan, learned Senior Counsel
    appearing for the petitioner, Mr. Maninder Singh,
    Page 3 of 35
    learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of
    Respondent No. 1 (State of Bihar), Mr. Vikas Singh,
    learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of
    respondent No. 2 (Complainant), Dr. A.M. Singhvi and
    Mr. R. Basant, learned Senior Counsel appearing on
    behalf of respondent No. 3 (State of Maharashtra) and
    Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General of India
    appearing on behalf of respondent No. 4 (Union of
    India)
  4. The petitioner contends that the incidents alleged
    in the Complaint lodged by the father of the deceased,
    have taken place entirely within the jurisdiction of
    State of Maharashtra and therefore, the Complaint as
    received, should have been forwarded to the
    jurisdictional police station at Bandra, Mumbai for
    conducting the investigation. However, despite want of
    jurisdiction, the Complaint was registered at Patna
    only because of political pressure brought upon the
    Bihar Police authorities. Mr Shyam Divan, the learned
    Senior Counsel for the Petitioner argues that the
    courts in Bihar do not exercise lawful jurisdiction in
    the subject matter of the Complaint and since the acts
    Page 4 of 35
    alleged in the Complaint are relatable to Mumbai
    jurisdiction, the mere factum of Complainant being a
    resident of Patna, does not confer jurisdiction on the
    Bihar police to conduct the investigation. Adverting
    to the subsequent transfer of the investigation to the
    CBI, Mr. Divan argues that since the Bihar police
    lacked jurisdiction to investigate the allegations in
    the Complaint, the transfer of the investigation to the
    CBI on Bihar Government’s consent, would not amount to
    a lawful consent of the State government, under Section
    6 of the Delhi Special Police Act, 1946 (for short
    “DSPE Act”). The FIR according to the petitioner is
    contradictory and the Complaint fails to disclose how
    the alleged actions of the petitioner, led to the
    suicidal death of the actor. The petitioner projects
    that she has fully co-operated with the Mumbai Police
    in their inquiry but will have no objection if the
    investigation is conducted by the CBI. Mr. Shyam Divan
    the learned Senior Counsel submits that justice needs
    to be done in this case and powers under Article 142
    of the Constitution can be invoked by the Court.
    Page 5 of 35
  5. Representing the State of Bihar, Mr. Maninder Singh,
    the learned Senior Counsel submits that the Complaint
    disclosed a cognizable offence and therefore, it was
    incumbent for the Patna Police to register the FIR and
    proceed with the investigation. Since allegations of
    criminal breach of trust, Cheating and defalcation of
    money from the account of the deceased are alleged, the
    consequences of the offence are projected to be within
    the jurisdiction of the State of Bihar. The Senior
    Counsel highlights that the Mumbai Police was
    conducting the enquiry into the unnatural death of the
    actor u/s 174, 175 CrPC and such proceeding being
    limited to ascertaining the cause of death, does not
    empower Mumbai Police to undertake any investigation,
    on the allegations in the Complaint of the Respondent
    No 2, without registration of an FIR at Mumbai.
    Referring to the non-cooperation and obstruction of the
    Maharashtra authorities to the SIT of Bihar Police
    which reached Mumbai on 27.07.2020 and the quarantined
    detention of the Superintendent of Police, Patna who
    had reached Mumbai on 02.08.2020, senior counsel argues
    that the Mumbai Police was trying to suppress the real
    Page 6 of 35
    facts and were not conducting a fair and professional
    inquiry. Since no investigation relatable to the
    allegations in the complaint was being conducted and
    FIR was not registered by the Mumbai Police, the action
    of the Bihar Police in registering the Complaint, is
    contended to be legally justified. On that basis, the
    Bihar Government’s consent for entrustment of the
    investigation to the CBI is submitted to satisfy the
    requirement of Section 6 of the DSPE Act. Besides, as
    the petitioner herself has called for a CBI
    investigation and as the CBI has since registered a
    case and commenced their investigation, (on the request
    of the State of Bihar), the Senior Counsel submits that
    this transfer petition is infructuous.
  6. Projecting the agony of the deceased’s father, Mr.
    Vikas Singh, the learned Senior Counsel submits that
    the Complainant has lost his only son under suspicious
    circumstances and was naturally interested in a fair
    investigation to unravel the truth. The inquiry by
    the Mumbai Police under section 174 of the CrPC is not
    an investigation of the complainant’s allegations and
    therefore the registration of the case and
    Page 7 of 35
    investigation into those allegations by the Bihar
    Police is contended to be justified. Since only an
    investigation (not a case or appeal) is pending at
    Patna, and a legally competent investigation has
    commenced, invocation of Section 406 power by this
    Court to transfer the investigation, is projected to
    be not merited. When misappropriation and criminal
    breach of trust is alleged in respect of the assets of
    the deceased actor and the concerned property relatable
    to the alleged offence, will have to be accounted
    eventually to the Complainant (as a Class I legal heir
    of the deceased), the action of the Patna Police is
    contended to be within jurisdiction, under Section 179
    read with Section 181(4) of the CrPC which speaks of
    consequences ensuing at another place, as a result of
    the alleged crime.
  7. Representing the State of Maharashtra, Dr. Abhishek
    Manu Singhvi, the learned Senior Counsel submits that
    following the unnatural death of Sushant Singh Rajput
    on 14.06.2020 at his Bandra residence, the Mumbai
    Police registered an Accidental Death Report(ADR) and
    commenced inquiry under Section 174 of the CrPC to
    Page 8 of 35
    ascertain the cause of death and also to determine
    whether the death was the result of some criminal act
    committed by some other persons. In course of the
    inquiry, the statements of 56 persons were recorded and
    other evidence such as the Post Mortem report, Forensic
    report etc have been collected. If the inquiry
    discloses commission of a cognizable offence, the
    Mumbai police will register a FIR. According to Dr.
    Singhvi, there can be no outer time limit for
    conclusion of Section 174 or Section 175 CrPC
    proceedings. The State of Maharashtra Counsel argues
    that every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into
    and tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction,
    the offence was committed and on that basis, Dr Singhvi
    submits, that the Bihar police should have transferred
    the Complaint to the Mumbai Police authorities.
    Alternately, they could have registered a “zero FIR”
    and then should have transferred the case for
    investigation to Mumbai police. Pointing towards
    potential misuse, Dr. Singhvi submits that if
    registration of Complaint in another state is
    permitted, it will enable a person to choose the
    Page 9 of 35
    investigating authority and will obstruct exercise of
    lawful jurisdiction by the local police. This will
    impact the country’s federal structure. The Senior
    Counsel refers to media reports to project that the
    Bihar Police were hesitant to register the Complaint
    of Respondent No 2 but they were prevailed upon by
    political pressure. The Maharashtra counsel submits
    that the father and other family members of the
    deceased in their statements to the Mumbai Police,
    never mentioned about the allegations in the Complaint
    and those are projected to be afterthoughts and
    improvements. Under the constitutional scheme, the
    States have exclusive power to investigate a crime and
    the Senior Counsel accordingly argues that crime
    investigation cannot be routinely transferred to the
    Central Agency. Referring to the reasons (a)
    sensitivity and (b) Inter-state ramifications, given
    by the Bihar Police for entrusting the investigation
    to the CBI, Dr. Singhvi argues that the reasons are
    neither germane nor bona fide. He submits that
    ordinarily, the local police should conduct
    investigation into any reported crime and entrustment
    Page 10 of 35
    of the investigation to the CBI must be an exception
    to meet extraordinary exigencies, but here consent was
    given by Bihar government, for political exigencies.
  8. Mr Tushar Mehta, the learned Solicitor General of
    India, appears for the Union of India and the CBI. He
    projects that the Maharashtra Police is yet to register
    any FIR but is conducting only a limited inquiry under
    section 174 of the CrPC, into the unnatural death of
    the actor. In the absence of any FIR by the Mumbai
    Police following the death of the actor on 14.06.2020,
    the FIR registered at Patna at the instance of the
    deceased’s father is projected to be the only one
    pending. He therefore contends that the present matter
    does not relate to two cases pending in two different
    states. Referring to the contradictory stand and the
    parallel allegation of state’s Police being influenced
    by external factors in both states, Mr. Mehta submits
    that this itself justifies entrustment of the
    investigation to an independent Central Agency. The
    learned Solicitor General then points out that by
    acceding to the request made by the State of Bihar, the
    CBI has registered the FIR and commenced investigation.
    Page 11 of 35
    Besides the Directorate of Enforcement, a central
    agency, is also acting under the Prevention of Money
    Laundering Act, 2002. He therefore argues that a fair
    and impartial inquiry can be ensured if the police of
    either state are kept away from investigating the
    alleged crime, relating to the suspicious death of the
    film actor. Adverting to the affidavit of the
    Maharashtra Police that they have recorded the
    statements of 56 persons in the section 174
    proceedings, the Solicitor General submits that since
    FIR is not yet registered and the Mumbai Police is
    discharging limited functions under section 174 of the
    CrPC, the investigation of any alleged crime following
    registration of FIR is yet to legally commence in
    Mumbai and as such, there is no case pending in the
    State of Maharashtra which can justify the invocation
    of powers under section 406 of the CrPC.
  9. Under the federal design envisaged by the
    Constitution, Police is a state subject under List II
    of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Therefore,
    investigation of a crime should normally be undertaken
    by the concerned state’s police, where the case is
    Page 12 of 35
    registered. There can be situations where a particular
    crime by virtue of its nature and ramification, is
    legally capable of being investigated by police from
    different states or even by other agencies. The
    entrustment of investigation to the CBI is permitted
    either with consent of the concerned state or on orders
    of the constitutional court. However, investigation
    of a crime by multiple authorities transgressing into
    the others domain, is avoidable.
  10. In the instant case, the petitioner repose
    confidence on Mumbai police. The records of the case
    produced before this Court, does not prima facie
    suggest any wrong doing by the Mumbai Police. However,
    their obstruction to the Bihar police team at Mumbai
    could have been avoided since it gave rise to suspicion
    on the bonafide of their inquiry. The Police at Mumbai
    were conducting only a limited inquiry into the cause
    of unnatural death, under Section 174 CrPC and
    therefore, it cannot be said with certainty at this
    stage that they will not undertake an investigation on
    the other aspects of the unnatural death, by
    registering a FIR.
    Page 13 of 35
  11. Uncertain about the future contingency at Mumbai,
    the father of the deceased has filed the Complaint at
    Patna, levelling serious allegations against the
    petitioner following which, the FIR is registered and
    the Bihar Police has started their investigation. The
    case is now taken over by the CBI at the request of the
    Bihar government. The petitioner has no objection for
    investigation by the CBI, but is sceptical about the
    bonafide of the steps taken by the Bihar government and
    the Patna police.
  12. On the other hand, the projection from the side of
    the Complainant and the Bihar government is that the
    Mumbai Police even during the limited inquiry under
    Section 174 CrPC, are attempting to shield the real
    culprits under political pressure. This is however,
    stoutly refuted by the State of Maharashtra whose stand
    is that the Bihar police has no jurisdiction to
    investigate the crime where, the incident and criminal
    acts if any, have occurred within the State of
    Maharashtra.
    Page 14 of 35
  13. Transfer of investigation to the CBI cannot be a
    routine occurrence but should be in exceptional
    circumstances. One factor which however is considered
    relevant for induction of the Central Agency is to
    retain “public confidence in the impartial working of
    the State agencies”, as was recently reiterated for
    the Bench by Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, in Arnab
    Ranjan Goswami vs. Union of India 2020 SCC Online SC
  14. It is also the consistent view of the Court that
    it is not for the accused to choose the investigating
    agency. In the instant case, political interference
    against both states is alleged which has the potential
    of discrediting the investigation. The legal process
    must therefore be focused upon revelation of the
    correct facts through credible and legally acceptable
    investigation. It must be determined whether the
    unnatural death was the result of some criminal acts.
    In order to lend credibility to the investigation and
    its conclusion, it would be desirable in my view, to
    specify the authority, which should conduct the
    investigation in this matter.
    Page 15 of 35
  15. At this stage, having regard to the respective
    stand of the parties, following core issues arise for
    consideration in this case:
    (a) Whether this Court has power to transfer
    investigation (not case or appeal) under Section 406
    of the CrPC;
    (b) Whether the proceeding under Section 174 CrPC
    conducted by the Mumbai Police to inquire into the
    unnatural death, can be termed as an investigation;
    (c) Whether it was within the jurisdiction of the
    Patna Police to register the FIR and commence
    investigation of the alleged incidents which took place
    in Mumbai? As a corollary, what is the status of the
    investigation by the CBI on the consent given by the
    Bihar government; and
    (d) What is the scope of the power of a single
    judge exercising jurisdiction under section 406 of the
    CrPC and whether this Court can issue direction for
    doing complete justice, in exercise of plenary power.
    TRANSFER POWER UNDER SECTION 406 CRPC
  16. Section 406 CrPC empowers the Supreme Court to
    transfer cases and appeals. The scope of exercise of
    Page 16 of 35
    this power is for securing the ends of justice. The
    precedents suggest that transfer plea under Section 406
    CrPC were granted in cases where the Court believed
    that the trial may be prejudiced and fair and impartial
    proceedings cannot be carried on, if the trial
    continues. However, transfer of investigation on the
    other hand was negated by this Court in the case of Ram
    Chander Singh Sagar and Anr. vs. State of Tamil Nadu,
    (1978) 2 SCC 35. Writing the judgment Justice V R
    Krishna Iyer, declared that:-
    “The Code of Criminal Procedure clothes this Court
    with power under Section 406 to transfer a case or
    appeal from one High Court or a Court subordinate
    to one High Court to another High Court or to a
    Court subordinate thereto. But, it does not clothe
    this Court with the power to transfer
    investigations from one police station to another
    in the country simply because the first information
    or a remand report is for warded to a Court. The
    application before us stems from a misconception
    about the scope of Section 406. There is as yet no
    case pending before any Court as has been made
    clear in the counter affidavit of the State of
    Tamil Nadu. In the light of this counter affidavit,
    nothing can be done except to dismiss this
    petition.
    “ 2. If the petitioners are being directed to
    appear in a far-off court during investigatory
    stage it is for them to move that court for
    appropriate orders so that they may not be
    tormented by long travel or otherwise teased by
    judicial process. If justice is denied there are
    other redresses, not under Section 406, though it
    Page 17 of 35
    is unfortunate that the petitioners have not chosen
    to move that court to be absolved from appearance
    until necessitated by the circumstances or the
    progress of the investigation. To come to this
    Court directly seeking an order of transfer is
    travelling along the wrong street. We are sure that
    if the second petitioner is ailing, as is
    represented, and this fact is brought to the notice
    of the Court which has directed her appearance,
    just orders will be passed in case there is
    veracity behind the representation. We need hardly
    say courts should use their processes to the
    purpose of advancing justice, not to harass
    parties. Anyway, so far as the petition for
    transfer is concerned. there is no merit we can
    see and so we dismiss it.”
  17. The contrary references cited by the Petitioner
    where transfer of investigation was allowed, do not in
    any manner, refer to a determination on the question
    of competence to transfer investigation under Section
  18. In the cited cases, relief was granted without any
    discussion of the law, ignoring the long standing ratio
    laid down in Ram Chander Singh Sagar (Supra).
  19. Having considered the contour of the power under
    section 406 CrPC, it must be concluded that only cases
    and appeals (not investigation) can be transferred. The
    ratio in Ram Chander Singh Sagar and Anr. (Supra) in
    my view, is clearly applicable in the present matter.
    Page 18 of 35
    SCOPE OF SECTION 174 CRPC PROCEEDING
  20. The proceeding under Section 174 CrPC is limited
    to the inquiry carried out by the police to find out
    the apparent cause of unnatural death. These are not
    in the nature of investigation, undertaken after filing
    of FIR under Section 154 CrPC. In the instant case, in
    Mumbai, no FIR has been registered as yet. The Mumbai
    Police has neither considered the matter under Section
    175 (2) CrPC, suspecting commission of a cognizable
    offence nor proceeded for registration of FIR under
    Section 154 or referred the matter under Section 157
    CrPC, to the nearest magistrate having jurisdiction.
  21. On the above aspect, the ratio in Manoj K Sharma
    vs. State of Chhatisgarh (2016) 9 SCC 1 will bear
    scrutiny. This was a case of suicide by hanging and
    Justice M B Lokur, speaking for the Bench held as
    follows:-
    “19. The proceedings under Section 174 have
    a very limited scope. The object of the
    proceedings is merely to ascertain whether a
    person has died under suspicious
    circumstances or an unnatural death and if so
    what is the apparent cause of the death. The
    question regarding the details as to how the
    Page 19 of 35
    deceased was assaulted or who assaulted him
    or under what circumstances he was assaulted
    is foreign to the ambit and scope of the
    proceedings under Section 174 of the Code.
    Neither in practice nor in law was it
    necessary for the police to mention those
    details in the inquest report. It is,
    therefore, not necessary to enter all the
    details of the overt acts in the inquest
    report. The procedure under Section 174 is
    for the purpose of discovering the cause of
    death, and the evidence taken was very
    short……
  22. …… Sections 174 and 175 of the Code
    afford a complete Code in itself for the
    purpose of “inquiries” in cases of accidental
    or suspicious deaths and are entirely
    distinct from the “investigation” under
    Section 157 of the Code…..

  1. In view of the above, we are of the
    opinion that the investigation on an inquiry
    under Section 174 of the Code is distinct
    from the investigation as contemplated under
    Section 154 of the Code relating to
    commission of a cognizable offence…..”
  2. In the present case, the Mumbai Police has
    attempted to stretch the purview of Section 174 without
    drawing up any FIR and therefore, as it appears, no
    investigation pursuant to commission of a cognizable
    offence is being carried out by the Mumbai police.
    Page 20 of 35
    They are yet to register a FIR. Nor they have made a
    suitable determination, in terms of Section 175(2)
    CrPC. Therefore, it is pre-emptive and premature to
    hold that a parallel investigation is being carried out
    by the Mumbai Police. In case of a future possibility
    of cognizance being taken by two courts in different
    jurisdictions, the issue could be resolved under
    Section 186 CrPC and other applicable laws. No opinion
    is therefore expressed on a future contingency and the
    issue is left open to be decided, if needed, in
    accordance with law.
  3. Following the above, it is declared that the
    inquiry conducted under Section 174 CrPC by the Mumbai
    police is limited for a definite purpose but is not an
    investigation of a crime under Section 157 of the CrPC.
    JURISDICTION OF PATNA POLICE TO REGISTER COMPLAINT
  4. The Respondent no 2 in his Complaint alleged
    commission of a cognizable offence and therefore, it
    was incumbent for the police to register the FIR and
    commence the investigation. According to the
    Complainant, his attempt from Patna to talk to his son
    Page 21 of 35
    on telephone was thwarted by the accused persons and
    the possibility of saving the life of his son through
    father son engagement, was missed out. In consequence,
    the Complainant lost his only son who at the
    appropriate time, as the learned counsel has vividly
    submitted, was expected to light the funeral pyre of
    the father.
  5. Registration of FIR is mandated when information
    on cognizable offence is received by the police.
    Precedents suggest that at the stage of investigation,
    it cannot be said that the concerned police station
    does not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate
    the case. On this aspect the ratio in Lalita Kumari Vs.
    Govt. of UP (2014) 2 SCC 1 is relevant where on behalf
    of the Constitution Bench, Chief Justice P Sathasivam,
    pronounced as under:-
    “120.1. The registration of FIR is mandatory under
    Section 154 of the Code, if the information
    discloses commission of a cognizable offence and
    no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a
    situation.
    120.2. If the information received does not
    disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the
    necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry
    may be conducted only to ascertain whether
    cognizable offence is disclosed or not.”
    Page 22 of 35
  6. The interpretation of Sections 177 and 178 of the
    CrPC would be relevant on the issue. In Satvinder Kaur
    Vs. State (Govt of NCT of Delhi) (1999) 8 SCC 728 for
    the Division Bench, Justice M B Shah wrote as under:-
    “12. A reading of the aforesaid sections would
    make it clear that Section 177 provides for
    “ordinary” place of enquiry or trial. Section 178,
    inter alia, provides for place of enquiry or trial
    when it is uncertain in which of several local
    areas an offence was committed or where the offence
    was committed partly in one local area and partly
    in another and where it consisted of several acts
    done in different local areas, it could be enquired
    into or tried by a court having jurisdiction over
    any of such local areas. Hence, at the stage of
    investigation, it cannot be held that the SHO does
    not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate
    the crime.”
  7. Likewise, Justice Arijit Pasayat, in Y Abraham
    Ajith vs. Inspector of Police, Chennai & Anr. (2004) 8
    SCC 100, writing for the Division Bench pronounced as
    follows:-
    “12. The crucial question is whether any part
    of the cause of action arose within the
    jurisdiction of the court concerned. In terms
    of Section 177 of the Code, it is the place
    where the offence was committed. In essence it
    is the cause of action for initiation of the
    proceedings against the accused.
    Page 23 of 35
  8. While in civil cases, normally the
    expression “cause of action” is used, in
    criminal cases as stated in Section 177 of the
    Code, reference is to the local jurisdiction
    where the offence is committed. These
    variations in etymological expression do not
    really make the position different. The
    expression “cause of action” is, therefore, not
    a stranger to criminal cases.
  9. It is settled law that cause of action
    consists of a bundle of facts, which give cause
    to enforce the legal inquiry for redress in a
    court of law. In other words, it is a bundle
    of facts, which taken with the law applicable
    to them, gives the allegedly affected party a
    right to claim relief against the opponent. It
    must include some act done by the latter since
    in the absence of such an act no cause of action
    would possibly accrue or would arise.”
  10. When allegation of Criminal Breach of Trust and
    Misappropriation is made, on the jurisdictional aspect,
    this Court in Asit Bhattacharjee Vs. Hanuman Prasad
    Ojha (2007) 5 SCC 786, in the judgment written by
    Justice S B Sinha, observed as under:-
    “21. Section 181 provides for place of trial in
    case of certain offences. Sub-section (4) of
    Section 181 was introduced in the Code of Criminal
    Procedure in 1973 as there existed conflict in the
    decisions of various High Courts as regards
    commission of offence of criminal misappropriation
    and criminal breach of trust and with that end in
    view, it was provided that such an offence may be
    inquired into or tried by the court within whose
    jurisdiction the accused was bound by law or by
    contract to render accounts or return the entrusted
    property, but failed to discharge that obligation.
    Page 24 of 35
  11. The provisions referred to hereinbefore
    clearly suggest that even if a part of cause of
    action has arisen, the police station concerned
    situate within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate
    empowered to take cognizance under Section 190(1)
    of the Code of Criminal Procedure will have the
    jurisdiction to make investigation.”
  12. In the later judgment of Naresh Kavarchand Khatri
    Vs. State of Gujarat (2008)8 SCC 300, this Court
    reiterated the ratio in Satvinder Kaur(supra) and Asit
    Bhattacharjee (Supra).
  13. Once again, in Rasiklala Dalpatram Thakkar Vs.
    State of Gujarat (2010) 1 SCC 1, while approving the
    earlier decisions in Satvinder Kaur(supra) in the
    judgment rendered by Justice Altamas Kabir as he was
    then, the Supreme Court made it very clear that a police
    officer cannot refrain from investigating a matter on
    territorial ground and the issue can be decided after
    conclusion of the investigation. It was thus held:-
    “27. In our view, both the trial court as well as
    the Bombay High Court had correctly interpreted
    the provisions of Section 156 CrPC to hold that it
    was not within the jurisdiction of the
    investigating agency to refrain itself from
    holding a proper and complete investigation merely
    upon arriving at a conclusion that the offences
    had been committed beyond its territorial
    jurisdiction.”
    Page 25 of 35
  14. Moreover, the allegation relating to criminal
    breach of trust and misappropriation of money which
    were to be eventually accounted for in Patna (where the
    Complainant resides), could prima facie indicate the
    lawful jurisdiction of the Patna police. This aspect
    was dealt succinctly by Justice J S Khehar, as a member
    of the Division Bench in Lee Kun Hee, President,
    Samsung Corporation, South Korea and Others Vs. State
    of Uttar Pradesh and Ors. (2012) 3 SCC 132 and it was
    held as under:-
    “38
  15. Place of trial in case of certain
    offences.—(1)-(3)* * *
    (4) Any offence of criminal
    misappropriation or of criminal breach of
    trust may be inquired into or tried by a
    court within whose local jurisdiction the
    offence was committed or any part of the
    property which is the subject of the
    offence was received or retained, or was
    required to be returned or accounted for,
    by the accused person.”
    A perusal of the aforesaid provision leaves
    no room for any doubt, that in offences of
    the nature as are subject-matter of
    consideration in the present controversy,
    the court within whose local jurisdiction,
    the whole or a part of the consideration
    Page 26 of 35
    “… were required to be returned or
    accounted for.…” would have jurisdiction
    in the matter.”
  16. Having regard to the law enunciated by this Court
    as noted above, it must be held that the Patna police
    committed no illegality in registering the Complaint.
    Looking at the nature of the allegations in the
    Complaint which also relate to misappropriation and
    breach of trust, the exercise of jurisdiction by the
    Bihar Police appears to be in order. At the stage of
    investigation, they were not required to transfer the
    FIR to Mumbai police. For the same reason, the Bihar
    government was competent to give consent for
    entrustment of investigation to the CBI and as such the
    ongoing investigation by the CBI is held to be lawful.
    OPTIONS BEFORE MUMBAI POLICE
  17. The Patna police although found to be competent to
    investigate the allegation in the Complaint, the FIR
    suggests that most of the transactions/incidents
    alleged in the Complaint occurred within the
    territorial jurisdiction of the State of Maharashtra.
    The Mumbai Police was inquiring into the unnatural
    Page 27 of 35
    death of the complainant’s son under section 174 of the
    CrPC. So far, their inquiry has not resulted in any FIR
    suggesting commencement of investigation on the
    criminal aspects, if any. However, the incidents
    referred to in the Complaint does indicate that the
    Mumbai police also possess the jurisdiction to
    undertake investigation on those circumstances.
    Therefore, in the event of a case being registered also
    at Mumbai, the consent for the investigation by the CBI
    under Section 6 of the DSPE Act can be competently
    given by Maharashtra Government.
    INVESTIGATION ENTRUSTMENT TO CBI
  18. While the CBI cannot conduct any investigation
    without the consent of the concerned state as mandated
    under section 6, the powers of the Constitutional
    Courts are not fettered by the statutory restriction
    of the DSPE Act. For this proposition, one can usefully
    refer to State of West Bengal Vs. Sampat Lal (1985) 1
    SCC 317 where Justice Ranganath Mishra in his judgment
    for the 3 judges Bench, held that:-
    “13. ……….It is certainly not for this Court at the
    present stage to examine and come to a conclusion
    as to whether this was a case of suicide or murder.
    If as a result of investigation, evidence is
    Page 28 of 35
    gathered and a trial takes place the Sessions Judge
    will decide that controversy and it may be that in
    due course such controversy may be canvassed before
    this Court in some form or the other. It would,
    therefore, be wholly inappropriate at this stage
    to enter into such a question.…………In our considered
    opinion, Section 6 of the Act does not apply when
    the Court gives a direction to the CBI to conduct
    an investigation and counsel for the parties
    rightly did not dispute this position……………”
  19. Similarly, the Constitution Bench in the judgment
    authored by Justice D K Jain in State of W B Vs.
    Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (2010) 3
    SCC 571 pronounced as follows:-
    “68. Thus, having examined the rival contentions
    in the context of the constitutional scheme, we
    conclude as follows:
    (v) Restriction on Parliament by the Constitution
    and restriction on the executive by Parliament
    under an enactment, do not amount to restriction
    on the power of the Judiciary under Articles 32
    and 226 of the Constitution.
    (vi) If in terms of Entry 2 of List II of the
    Seventh Schedule on the one hand and Entry 2-A and
    Entry 80 of List I on the other, an investigation
    by another agency is permissible subject to grant
    of consent by the State concerned, there is no
    reason as to why, in an exceptional situation, the
    Court would be precluded from exercising the same
    power which the Union could exercise in terms of
    the provisions of the statute. In our opinion,
    exercise of such power by the constitutional courts
    would not violate the doctrine of separation of
    powers. In fact, if in such a situation the Court
    fails to grant relief, it would be failing in its
    constitutional duty.
    Page 29 of 35
    (vii) When the Special Police Act itself provides
    that subject to the consent by the State, CBI can
    take up investigation in relation to the crime
    which was otherwise within the jurisdiction of the
    State police, the Court can also exercise its
    constitutional power of judicial review and direct
    CBI to take up the investigation within the
    jurisdiction of the State. The power of the High
    Court under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot
    be taken away, curtailed or diluted by Section 6
    of the Special Police Act. Irrespective of there
    being any statutory provision acting as a
    restriction on the powers of the Courts, the
    restriction imposed by Section 6 of the Special
    Police Act on the powers of the Union, cannot be
    read as restriction on the powers of the
    constitutional courts. Therefore, exercise of
    power of judicial review by the High Court, in our
    opinion, would not amount to infringement of either
    the doctrine of separation of power or the federal
    structure.”
  20. As noted earlier, the FIR at Patna was subsequently
    transferred to the CBI with consent of the Bihar
    government during pendency of this Transfer Petition.
    However, in future, if commission of cognizable offence
    under section 175(2) CrPC is determined, the
    possibility of parallel investigation by the Mumbai
    Police cannot be ruled out. Section 6 of the DSPE Act,
    1946 read with Section 5 prescribe the requirement of
    consent from the State government, before entrustment
    of investigation to the CBI. As the CBI has already
    registered a case and commenced investigation at the
    Page 30 of 35
    instance of the Bihar government, uncertainty and
    confusion must be avoided in the event of Mumbai Police
    also deciding to simultaneously investigate the
    cognizable offence, based on their finding in the
    inquiry proceeding. Therefore, it would be appropriate
    to decide at this stage itself as to who should conduct
    the investigation on all the attending circumstances
    relating to the death of the actor Sushant Singh
    Rajput. This issue becomes relevant only if another FIR
    is registered on the same issue, at Mumbai. A decision
    by this Court on the point would confer legitimacy to
    the investigation.
    DIRECTION ON INVESTIGATION
  21. The conflict between the two State governments on,
    who amongst the two is competent to investigate the
    case, is apparent here. In K.V. Rajendran Vs.
    Superintendent of Police, CBCID, Chennai & Ors. (2013)
    12 SCC 480, the 3 judges Bench in the judgment authored
    by Justice Dr B S Chauhan held that transfer of
    investigation must be in rare and exceptional cases in
    order to do complete justice between the parties and
    to instil straight confidence in the public mind.
    Page 31 of 35
    While the steps taken by the Mumbai police in the
    limited inquiry under Section 174 CrPC may not be
    faulted on the material available before this Court,
    considering the apprehension voiced by the stakeholders
    of unfair investigation, this Court must strive to
    ensure that search for the truth is undertaken by an
    independent agency, not controlled by either of the two
    state governments. Most importantly, the credibility
    of the investigation and the investigating authority,
    must be protected.
  22. The ongoing investigation by the CBI is held to be
    lawful. In the event a new case is registered at Mumbai
    on the same issue, in the fitness of things, it would
    be appropriate if the latter case too gets investigated
    by the same agency, on the strength of this Court’s
    order. Such enabling order will make it possible for
    the CBI to investigate the new case, avoiding the
    rigors of Section 6 of the DSPE Act, requiring consent
    from the State of Maharashtra.
  23. In Monica Kumar (Dr.) and Anr. Vs. State of Uttar
    Pradesh and Others (2008) 8 SCC 781, Justice L.S. Panta
    Page 32 of 35
    in his judgment, referred to the inherent power
    conferred on this Court and stated the following:-
    “45. Under Article 142 of the
    Constitution this Court in exercise of
    its jurisdiction may pass such decree or
    make such order as is necessary for doing
    complete justice in any “cause” or
    “matter” pending before it. The
    expression “cause” or “matter” would
    include any proceeding pending in court
    and it would cover almost every kind of
    proceeding in court including civil or
    criminal. ………………………..This Court’s power
    under Article 142(1) to do “complete
    justice” is entirely of different level
    and of a different quality. What would be
    the need of “complete justice” in a cause
    or matter would depend upon the facts and
    circumstances of each case and while
    exercising that power the Court would
    take into consideration the express
    provisions of a substantive statute. Any
    prohibition or restriction contained in
    ordinary laws cannot act as a limitation
    on the constitutional power of this
    Court. Once this Court has seisin of a
    cause or matter before it, it has power
    to issue any order or direction to do
    “complete justice” in the matter.”
  24. The above ratio makes it amply clear that the
    Supreme Court in a deserving case, can invoke Article
    142 powers to render justice. The peculiar
    circumstances in this case require that complete
    justice is done in this matter. How this is to be
    achieved must now be decided.
    Page 33 of 35
  25. As noted earlier, as because both states are making
    acrimonious allegations of political interference
    against each other, the legitimacy of the investigation
    has come under a cloud. Accusing fingers are being
    pointed and people have taken the liberty to put out
    their own conjectures and theories. Such comments,
    responsible or otherwise, have led to speculative
    public discourse which have hogged media limelight.
    These developments unfortunately have the propensity
    to delay and misdirect the investigation. In such
    situation, there is reasonable apprehension of truth
    being a casualty and justice becoming a victim.
  26. The actor Sushant Singh Rajput was a talented actor
    in the Mumbai film world and died well before his full
    potential could be realised. His family, friends and
    admirers are keenly waiting the outcome of the
    investigation so that all the speculations floating
    around can be put to rest. Therefore a fair, competent
    and impartial investigation is the need of the hour.
    The expected outcome then would be, a measure of
    justice for the Complainant, who lost his only son.
    Page 34 of 35
    For the petitioner too, it will be the desired justice
    as she herself called for a CBI investigation. The
    dissemination of the real facts through unbiased
    investigation would certainly result in justice for the
    innocents, who might be the target of vilification
    campaign. Equally importantly, when integrity and
    credibility of the investigation is discernible, the
    trust, faith and confidence of the common man in the
    judicial process will resonate. When truth meets
    sunshine, justice will not prevail on the living alone
    but after Life’s fitful fever, now the departed will
    also sleep well. Satyameva Jayate.
  27. In such backdrop, to ensure public confidence in
    the investigation and to do complete justice in the
    matter, this Court considers it appropriate to invoke
    the powers conferred by Article 142 of the
    Constitution. As a Court exercising lawful jurisdiction
    for the assigned roster, no impediment is seen for
    exercise of plenary power in the present matter.
    Therefore while according approval for the ongoing CBI
    investigation, if any other case is registered on the
    death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the
    Page 35 of 35
    surrounding circumstances of his unnatural death, the
    CBI is directed to investigate the new case as well.
    It is ordered accordingly.
  28. Before parting, it is made clear that the
    conclusion and observations in this order is only for
    disposal of this petition and should have no bearing
    for any other purpose.
  29. The Transfer Petition is disposed of with the above
    order.
    …………………………………………J.
    [HRISHIKESH ROY]
    NEW DELHI
    AUGUST 19, 2020