The sudden demise of Sushant Singh Rajput has shocked the world and led to madness all around. Various allegations were levelled on certain individuals and also on the Bollywood film industry as a whole. It was said that the industry collectively is responsible for what they called the ‘murder’ of the actor and that the Mumbai Police failed to investigate well. As days passed, the demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in this case grew manifold. Finally, the matter reached the Supreme Court and on August 5, the Central government gave the nod for an investigation by the CBI.
The CBI team immediately arrived in Mumbai and began to investigate Rhea Chakraborty, the staff of Sushant Singh Rajput and others who seemed to have a link in the case. Soon, even the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) got involved as the supposed consumption of drugs by the Bollywood actors came under the scanner. In no time, this angle hogged the limelight and also the headlines. At the same time, the principal investigation of CBI began to get lesser and lesser coverage by the day. A few reports emerged that CBI and AIIMS have ruled out murder and that the investigation has concluded, but these remain largely unconfirmed.
December 5 will mark 4 months since the time CBI got involved in the case. With no clear answer yet on what their investigation has concluded, this writer decided to file a Right To Information (RTI) request to CBI. The three questions posed by this writer to the agency were as follows:
1. What is the status of the investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case?
2. Is it true that CBI has concluded that Sushant Singh Rajput death is a case of a suicide and not murder?
3. When does CBI plan to hold a press conference and announce to the world their findings in the Singh Rajput death case?
In its reply, however, CBI refused to share details but confirmed that the investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput case is very much on. The CBI said, “The information sought is related to the case which is still under Investigation & disclosure of such information would impede the process of investigation, as such exemption is claimed under section 8(1) (h) of RTI Act. 2005.” Section 8(1) (h) allows a public authority to withhold information, the disclosure of which would impede the process of an investigation or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
It further added, “Further, it is informed that Central Bureau of Investigation is exempted u/s 24 of RTI Act, 2005 to provide such information vide notification No.F.1/3/2011-IR dated 09.06.2011 of the Govt. of India issued u/s 24 of RTI Act 2005. CBI has been put at Sl.No.23 of the second schedule to Right to Information Act, 2005, subject to provisions of Section 24 of RTI Act and thus, the requested information cannot be provided.” Section 24 of the RTI Act exempts certain intelligence and security organisations from the ambit of the transparency law except for information “pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations”.
Not just Sushant Singh Rajput fans, but the media, industry and even the political figures have been waiting for the findings of the CBI in the Sushant Singh Rajput case with bated breath. Here’s hoping the respected agency does the needful soon.
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