New Delhi: A single-judge bench of the Supreme Court Wednesday exercised its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to do “complete justice” while approving CBI probe in connection with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Article 142 of the Constitution deals with enforcement of decrees and orders of the Supreme Court and says that in exercise of its jurisdiction, it may pass order for doing complete justice in any matter pending before it.
A bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy said in his 35-page verdict that to “ensure public confidence” in the investigation and to do complete justice, the top court considers it appropriate to invoke the powers conferred by Article 142 of the Constitution.
Referring to an earlier judgement delivered by the apex court, the bench said, “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.”
The verdict came on a plea filed by actress Rhea Chakraborty who had sought transfer of an FIR, lodged against her and six others at Patna by Rajput’s father accusing them of abetting the actor’s suicide, to Mumbai.
Rajput, 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14 and since then Mumbai Police has been probing the case keeping in mind various angles.
In its judgement, the top court noted that family, friends and admirers of Rajput are keenly waiting for outcome of investigation so that all the speculations floating around can be put to rest and for Chakraborty also, it would be the desired justice as she herself has called for a CBI probe.
“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,” it said.
“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 surrounding circumstances of his unnatural death, the CBI is directed to investigate the new case as well. It is ordered accordingly,” it said.
The bench also made it clear that conclusion and observations in its order is only for disposal of Chakraborty’s transfer petition and should have no bearing for any other purpose.
The apex court dealt with the four “core issues” which came up for its consideration in the matter, including 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.
It noted that section 406 of the CrPC empowers the apex court to transfer cases and appeals and the scope of exercise of this power is for securing the ends of justice.