Tuesday 27 October 2020

Sushant case: Siddharth may turn CBI witness, file statement under 164

Pithani in his statement to the CBI had claimed that Sushant had fainted upon hearing the news of Disha Salian’s death, a week before his death

Sushant Singh Rajput’s flatmate-teammate Siddharth Pithani may turn a witness in the actor’s death investigation currently underway, top sources said. He could record a statement with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under Section 164. Pithani, who had been questioned by the CBI multiple times, might have already reached Delhi for the proceedings.

As per top sources, Pithani has been placed under the CBI radar and is being monitored by the authorities. He had been one of the people in the house in Mumbai’s Bandra where Sushant Singh Rajput had died on 14 June. Pithani has been the only one to give details of the arrival of ‘outsiders’ at the residence, on 13 June, a day allegedly before the unfortunate event occurred.

The development came amid reports that the CBI could re-examine suspects like Pithani including producer Sandip Ssingh after the AIIMS medico-legal was handed to it.

Pithani in his statement to the CBI had claimed that Sushant had fainted upon hearing the news of Disha Salian’s death, a week before his death. After gaining consciousness, he stated ‘I will be killed’ and sought protection. With live-in-girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty leaving the house with Sushant’s laptop and other devices, SSR had been worried, Pithani told in his statement to CBI, as per sources.

The other people in the house on 14 June were SSR’s staff Dipesh Sawant and cook Neeraj Singh. The CBI had recreated the scene from the day along with these two and Pithani and questioned them multiple times.

Dipesh, meanwhile, has been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau, along with Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik, and another Sushant Singh Rajput staff Samuel Miranda for their alleged involvement in a drug cartel. Media has recently tracked Neeraj to Delhi, and as per sources, he has been employed by an actor who is close to Rhea.

Meanwhile, a team of doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has submitted its forensic report of the Sushant case to the CBI. As per sources, the team has not ruled out the homicide angle. The development had come in the wake of the CBI releasing a statement, amid impatience from a section of ‘SSRians’ about ‘justice’, that a ‘systematic’ investigation was being done and that no angles had been ruled out.

Kwan paid Rhea lakhs, one tranche post Sushant death; ED probing transactions

After accessing particulars of Rhea Chakraborty and talent management company KWAN’s money transactions, Republic Media Network has now accessed more details. These are two specific payments from KWAN to Rhea Chakraborty and her mother Sandhya Chakraborty’s joint account which are under the Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner.

Two large transactions under ED scanner

According to sources, the Enforcement Directorate believes that the account in question had around Rs 3000 in it at one point before the transactions and two big tranches were transferred into the account. The first transfer was in April 2020 and the other one was in July, after Sushant Singh Rajput had died. An amount of Rs 3,68,098 on April 21 and Rs 1,36,802 on 4 July was transferred to the joint account through NEFT.

This comes after Republic Media Network had accessed exclusive details of transactions between CBI accused number one Rhea Chakraborty and talent management agency KWAN. As Enforcement Directorate investigates the financial link, questions arise as to why was KWAN making multiple transactions to Rhea. KWAN bosses are under the scanner of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as their names emerged in the drug chats where there were talks of alleged drug supply. The ED is probing this drug angle with respect to the KWAN-Rhea transactions too.

KWAN-Rhea’s money transactions under ED scanner

The first transaction of Rs 3,96,825 was done on 12 March through RTGS and the second one followed in a span of little more than a month. This time an amount of Rs 3,68,098. The third payment was done through NEFT on 2 May and the amount was Rs 1,60,651. The fourth payment one happened in the same month and the amount credited was Rs 1,72,126. The fifth transaction was through a cheque on 4 June, and the amount credited was Rs 1,59,300. The other five money transactions of Rs 2,75,400, Rs 1,36,802, Rs 2,75,400, Rs 1,17,900 and Rs 1,21,125 were done either through RTGS or NEFT on 25 June, 4 July, 6 July, 4 October and 18 November respectively.

KWAN has come into the spotlight amid the NCB’s probe into the Bollywood drug nexus over which Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh, as well as KWAN executives Jaya Saha and Karishma Prakash have been questioned, in relation to two FIRs that are filed as part of the Sushant Singh Rajput death probe, in which Rhea Chakraborty is named as the prime accused. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) which is investigating the Bollywood drug nexus, had summoned KWAN’s CEO Dhruv Chitgopekar, their talent manager Jaya Saha and employee Karishma Prakash, who is also Deepika Padukone’s manager.

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