ETimes had an Exclusive Interview with Vikas Singh, Sushant Singh’s father’s lawyer. Read on…
Have you been associated with Sushant Singh Rajput‘s family for some time? Have you helped them in some cases in the past?
I don’t think this question is relevant. My association with Sushant’s family has purely been a professional one.
Can you describe your first meeting with Sushant Singh’s father (regarding this case)? Did he walk into your chamber or called you?
Again, this question is not related to the case. Let’s come to the point.
This morning, we read that Rhea Chakraborty has appealed to the Supreme Court- something on the lines that Sushant’s friend Siddharth Pithani has mailed the Mumbai Police that he was pressurised to give statements against her- Sushant’s family members had called him, a senior IPS officer had called him. Two calls were made, one on July 22, the other on July 27. What have you to say on that?
It is very surprising. If this was written to only the Mumbai Police, how did it reach Rhea? By now when this mail is coming in public light, Rhea is already mentioned as an accused now in the FIR, so there’s no question of the police sharing it with Rhea. If Pithani had sent it to Rhea, his credibility is in doubt. In that case, it was only set up to file it in Court.
Though this is not your question, I must tell you this. This boy (Pithani) was living with Sushant and he was the one who discovered the dead body. So when he found the door locked, he did not open it until Sushant’s sister came. He waited for one-and-half hours.
More importantly, till probably July 25, he was talking to the family and trying to help by telling them that Rhea Chakraborty has been instrumental in whatever happened to Sushant. Suddenly, he has done a volte-face. I don’t know what happened, but I hope the police get to the bottom of the matter soon and find out what role he (Pithani) played in this case and whether he has any information that he hasn’t shared.
Pithani was providing information against Rhea to Sushant’s family?
Yes. He was claiming to be a friend of Sushant. This thing is so dubious.
Was he providing the information against Rhea to Sushant’s family before Sushant passed away, or after?
After Sushant passed away.
Another thing that has surfaced very lately is Sushant’s CA (Chartered Accountant) saying that there were no major transactions from Sushant’s account to Rhea’s account…
This is statistical jargon. Let me explain why. The CA is right in saying that there were no major transactions (from Sushant’s account to Rhea’s account). He is also right in saying that Sushant’s account never had Rs 15 crore (at a given instant).
But he is not Sushant’s CA anymore. The family has not engaged him. You cannot represent in his capacity someone who is no more. He was brought into Sushant’s life as CA by Rhea.
Now, Sushant’s account had an inflow of Rs 17 crore and an outflow of Rs 15 crore in the one year that Rhea was with Sushant. He is not answering that. Small, small amounts came out of the account over a period of time..
Sushant’s family didn’t know about the fact that Sushant had changed his CA because they knew he was fine to manage his financial affairs and neither they were interested in his money.
Sushant was absolutely fine till 2019. He started having the mental issue only when Rhea came into his life.
The Mumbai Police was derailing the investigation in finding the cause of Sushant’s suicide; they were not questioning people in his ecosystem- say the cook/bodyguard. And, they called Rhea 16 days after Sushant’s death. Also, they did not ask her why she left him on June 8 and why she took away Sushant’s medical records and blocked him. What has the Mumbai Police been doing? They have been calling people from Bollywood just because Kangana Ranaut says there’s discrimination in Bollywood. These people (those who were called) didn’t form Sushant’s ecosystem; yes, Sushant may have worked with those few directors here or there. But that’s not the inquest, that’s not the cause of suicide.
Why was the CCTV footage not frozen? Who all came to Sushant’s house in the last 10-15 days? I am now told that the CCTV footage is not available.
Hence, Sushant’s family thought it was necessary to file an FIR. Before that, they did check on the account. The mention of the money part in the account in the complaint is only to show Rhea’s motive for coming into Sushant’s life.
So, here you are trying to build a case of abetment to suicide?
Absolutely. That’s the actual charge put in the FIR.
Abetment of suicide is not a solitary incident. It cannot be. It is a combination of factors. If you see sequentially, first she cut off his access to his father. She used to keep his mobile. He was not even allowed to call through his bodyguard. Then, she declared him medically ill and started taking him to doctors. After that, she told him that his house was haunted and started taking him to some resorts. Post that she took him to psychiatrists and I believe started over-drugging him.
She was using his credit card and spent his money and credit card on her brother and father’s expenses. At some stage, she realised that he wanted to take a break and do organic farming in Coorg. She felt he was of no use to him after that. That is when she took away his medical records and blocked him. That worked on his mind.
Then, his secretary Disha Salian was about to join him. And when Disha committed suicide, the media flashed her name as Sushant’s manager. Disha was brought in by Rhea. Sushant felt Rhea might implicate him in Disha’s death. This made him really anxious. One of the sisters who stays in Mumbai came to stay with Sushant after that, but she had to leave on June 12 because she has a school-going daughter. If these people are not to be questioned, then what’s the Mumbai Police been doing?
But Rhea has been questioned…
But nothing has come in public domain on what aspects she was questioned on. You know the kind of leaks that happen. Today also, in her video, she never mentioned why she left him or whether she repents. Unlike his other girlfriends, she didn’t even go to Patna. Her not going to Patna does not establish the crime but just shows her interests but I am just trying to show that she had only selfish interests in Sushant.
If you read up on depression, people do have suicidal tendencies when they’re left alone. She has still not justified why she left him in such a state.
This sister who left him on July 12 was Meetu and the one who had fought with Rhea was Shweta…
Yes, that was the other sister (who fought with Rhea) but I am not sure about her name.
You have also mentioned that Sushant’s family had informed the Mumbai Police that Sushant was not in the right company. That I think happened on Feb 25…
You are right. There was a message by the family to the DCP of Bandra Police that Sushant is not in good company, have a look at him and make sure that nothing untoward should happen to him. A specific message going out, then the death happening and the police looking into everybody other than people around him- the family was disheartened, realised that Mumbai Police was derailing the case and filed a complaint.
So, you are also saying that the entire theory of the first 40 days after Sushant’s death- channel debates and the police investigation as you are saying, was going on the nepotism angle?
Absolutely. I am glad that you asked this question.
Nepotism is not a cognizable offence. Police investigation can only start only on a cognizable offence or on an allegation of a cognizable offence. If you are doing only an inquest into a death, nepotism cannot come in. Inquest will be for people who are in the ecosystem, for which the inquiry did not happen. Nepotism was not an inquest into Sushant’s death. These people were not around when Sushant died. They couldn’t say how he died. They could have contributed to his mental state. At best, they can be said to have also been an aggravating factor on why his depression happened in the first place. Nepotism by itself cannot lead to death, it has to happen due to reasons closer to him that happened to him around the death, not what happened to him a year or two earlier. But if the Mumbai Police wants to do that inquiry that has nothing to do with Sushant, they are not investigating a cognizable offence. It may benefit the future youngsters but they have no right to dwell on that aspect. Perhaps the Movie Producers’ Associations or the State Govt can bring in a law that there’s no discrimination in the film industry.
Is the police morally bound to share everything with the media? The Mumbai Police might have been exploring other angles..
Are you giving them the benefit of doubt?
I am not giving anyone any benefit of doubt. Let me explain. A Bhansali or an Aditya Chopra gets identified and subsequently splashed in the media, but does that mean that the Mumbai Police were not exploring the other angles to this case?
You are right that the police are not supposed to share all the information with the media. But unfortunately, everything was being shared. This case cannot be without the media glare. If they had questioned the previous cook or the trainer, it would have come out in the media. If one wants to know what’s happening in the Sushant Singh Rajput’s house, you have to go there and see and not sit in your office. Benefit of doubt cannot be given.
Going back to the Feb 25 complaint, are you also saying that the police did not go to Sushant’s house and look into the matter?
I really have no information on that. They might have gone for a round from the outside, I wouldn’t know. But no feedback was given to us. But you are right, they may have gone there and done a preliminary inquiry. But my point is different. If there’s a complaint, after the death you have to put two and two together and not wait for 16 days before calling Rhea.
Are you aware, or did Sushant father tell you that Sushant was disturbed about anything related to his career or anything else before Rhea entered his life?
No, there was nothing. Only in 2002, he was shaken up completely after his mother passed away.
After he entered Bollywood, he was giving hits after hits till 2019. There might have been one or two small incidents but I am not very sure of that. If you talk to a psychiatrist, one needs to be susceptible in such cases. This was not showing till Rhea came into his life. What all started showing and what were the aggravating factors will all come from the police’s investigation.
Was Sushant undergoing any counselling before Rhea came into his life?
What’s your next step?
After the FIR is registered, the complainant takes a backseat. Then it is in the hands of the police. If you are asking about my wishlist, I think the arrest should have happened by now. In fact, it should have happened on Saturday itself (July 25). But the Patna Police felt that they would like to do their own homework before they take the big step. They might have felt that if they go to Court without homework, they might not be able to justify the arrest and she might get bail. It’s entirely their call.
Did Sushant’s family tell you that when Rhea and Sushant went into a relationship- whether they liked her, what was their bond with her?
No, she never interacted with anybody. In fact, she cut off their access.
Right from the word ‘Go’?
Almost from the word ‘Go’.
In that case, the father maybe should have just walked into Sushant’s building to meet his son. And Sushant couldn’t dial? I am just trying to understand how Rhea could be so intimidating..
If his mother would have been alive, probably she would have done that. I guess you are right, but for a father when the son is as old as 34, it’s like: Even if he doesn’t want to talk to me, why should I interfere in his life? Whenever they spoke, Sushant spoke normally. I guess we all realise the importance of parents when we become parents ourselves. Sushant had maybe not realised the importance of his father.
The previous question was stemming from the fact that I thought you might have asked this to Sushant’s father…
You are right. But it all happened over a time. Even when he (Sushant) was telling them that she was blackmailing him and leaking information in the press, nobody wanted to escalate the matter. Above all, nobody had even dreamt that he would commit suicide. If they had even had a dream, the sister (Meetu) wouldn’t have left him alone (on June 12)
In sisters’ or father’s words, what was Sushant’s state of mind in his last days?
Meetu stayed with him after Rhea left him on June 8. He was extremely disturbed. But when you put up a brave front when counselled by your sister, then she would feel that the brother is now looking better. Also, when you are on medication and the medication is not going properly because the sister didn’t know what all was being given to him, one doesn’t know how it works inside.
And if Pithani has changed sides and now a lot of theories are going around that Sushant was murdered, but if the Patna Police does a good job then light can come on that. We don’t want to jump to conclusions but all things are possible in Sushant’s death.
Is the father now going to shift to Mumbai to pursue the case?
Why should he shift? The case will be fought in Patna. The Supreme Court will not look into the convenience of the accused and put the complainant at an inconvenience. The complainant is 72 years old.