September 26, 2020

Probe Agency ED Questions Sushant Singh Rajput’s Friend, Business Manager

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai’s Bandra on June 14

Mumbai:

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today questioned Sushant Singh Rajput’s friend and roommate Siddharth Pithani and the late actor’s business manager Shruti Modi in connection with a money laundering case allegedly linked to his death.

Mr Pithani and Ms Modi arrived at the office of the central probe agency in the Ballard Estate area around 11 am in response to their scheduled summons, officials said.

Both of them were questioned by the agency on Monday and their statements were recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Shruti Modi was questioned last week too.

According to news agency Press Trust of India, Mr Pithani, an IT professional, had told various news channels that he was present in the Bandra flat on June 14 – the day the 34-year-old actor was found dead.

Mr Pithani, who Sushant Singh Rajput used to call “Buddha”, is stated to be living with Sushant Rajput for about a year, and had earlier recorded his statement with the Mumbai Police as part of its accidental death report (ADR) probe in the case.

On Monday, the ED questioned the prime accused in the case, 28-year-old actor Rhea Chakraborty, for about nine hours. She has been questioned for around 18-19 hours till now.

Her father Indrajit Chakraborty and brother Showik have also been questioned for varied lengths of time earlier.

The ED is also expected to question one of Sushant Rajput’s three sisters in this case on today.

Rhea Chakraborty, her family, and a friend of Sushant Rajput are expected to be called in for questioning again.

The ED had also questioned the chartered accountants (CAs) of Rhea Chakraborty and Sushant Rajput and the late actor’s house manager Samuel Miranda in the past.

The agency is understood to have questioned Rhea Chakraborty, who stated in her petition to the Supreme Court that she was in a live-in relationship with Sushant Rajput, about her friendship with the late actor, business dealings and the developments that took place over the last few years between them.

The ED’s line of questioning, officials said, is revolving around Rhea Chakraborty’s income, investments, business, professional deals, and links.

Also under the ED’s scanner is a property located in the Mumbai’s Khar area and another in Raigad district of the state, both linked to Rhea Chakraborty, for the source of purchase and ownership.

Agency sources have told news agency Press Trust of India that they “want more answers” from Rhea Chakraborty over the alleged mismatch between her income, expenditure and investments.

They said while Rhea Chakraborty has filed Income Tax Returns stating an income of about Rs 18 lakh in the recent past, the value of her investments is reportedly higher.

Her father, they said, is a retired defence personnel who gets a pension of around Rs one lakh per month.

The sources told news agency PTI that Rhea Chakraborty told the agency that she had made the property investments from her income, savings and has also taken bank loans.

Rhea Chakraborty has been accused by Sushant Singh Rajput’s father of “abetting his son’s suicide” and she had initially refused to appear before the agency citing her appeal pending before the Supreme Court that is slated to be heard on Tuesday.

Her lawyer Satish Maneshinde had said Rhea Chakraborty is a law-abiding citizen and would cooperate with the probe.

She has filed a petition in the Supreme Court requesting that the case lodged by the Bihar Police against her be transferred to the Mumbai police.

Rhea Chakraborty, through her lawyer, also shared a picture of a note on Saturday which she claimed was written by Sushant Rajput to express his gratitude towards her and her family.

She also shared a photograph of a water sipper, which is a piece of movie merchandise from Sushant Rajput’s 2019 film “Chhichhore”.

“The only property of Sushant that I possess,” she said in a message sent along with the photo to the media.

Probe agency ED, during the questioning sessions, is learnt to have confronted Rhea Chakraborty, Showik Chakraborty and Shruti Modi with certain bank statements that purportedly show transfer of small amounts into Showik Chakraborty’s accounts from those of Sushant Rajput and Rhea Chakraborty.

Sushant Rajput’s 74-year-old father KK Singh, who resides in Patna, had on July 25 filed a complaint with the Patna police against Rhea Chakraborty, her parents (including mother Sandhya Chakraborty), Showik, Rajput’s manager Samuel Miranda, Shruti Modi and unknown persons accusing them of cheating and “abetting his son’s suicide.”

The CBI had re-registered this FIR as a fresh case last Thursday and named as accused the same people.

Mr Singh also alleged financial irregularities in bank accounts of his son.

In the complaint, Mr Singh alleged that an amount of Rs 15 crore was siphoned off from Sushant Rajput’s bank account in one year to accounts of persons not known or connected to the late actor.

Under the ED’s scanner are also at least two companies linked to Sushant Rajput and some financial deals involving Rhea Chakraborty, her father, and her brother Showik, who are stated to be directors in these companies.
 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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