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eath of Sushant Singh Rajput Main article: Death of Sushant Singh Rajput On 25 July, Rajput's family lodged a first information report (FIR) with Patna Police, where his father lives, alleging Chakraborty and several others of abetment of suicide, wrongful restraint, wrongful confinement, theft, criminal breach of trust, and cheating under various sections of the IPC. Rajput's father said in the FIR that Rajput had confided to his sister about Chakraborty threatening to make his medical receipts public and prove him mad; that Rajput was afraid Chakraborty would frame him for his secretary's suicide; and that before his day of suicide, Chakraborty took away all doctor's receipts. On 7 August, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned Chakraborty and her brother over allegations of money laundering. On 19 August, the Supreme Court of India allowed the CBI to take control of the investigation. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB
), India's national drug law enforcement agency, arrested Chakraborty on 8 September, charging that she and her brother had caused marijuana to be supplied to Rajput. She was housed at Mumbai's Byculla jail. On 6 October, Mumbai Sessions Court extended Chakraborty's judicial remand until 20 October, but a day later she was granted bail by the Bombay High Court. "Since she has no criminal antecedents," the high court ruled, "there are reasonable grounds for believing that she is not likely to commit any offence while on bail." Moreover, the high court rejected the NCB's theory that Chakraborty had harboured and financed Rajput's drug addiction, finding instead that she was not part of the chain of drug dealers involved in the case. "She has not forwarded the drugs allegedly procured by her to somebody else to earn monetary or other benefits," wrote Justice Sarang Kotwal." Media coverage On 27 August 2020, BBC News reported that i
n the wake of Rajput's death, Chakraborty had "found herself at the centre of a vicious hate campaign led by some of India's most high-profile journalists and social media trolls." Subjected to gossip, innuendo, and misogynistic abuse, she was described by conservative television hosts as a "manipulative" woman who "performed black magic" and "drove Sushant to suicide." After a purported fan of Rajput threatened her on Instagram with rape and murder and urged her to "commit suicide otherwise I will send people to kill you," Chakraborty sought help from the cybercrime police. Supreme Court senior counsel Meenakshi Arora told the BBC that much of the press had already declared the actress guilty. "She's been hanged, drawn and quartered. It's a complete trial by media." Three activists, arguing that trial by media poses "real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice,"
petitioned the Bombay High Court to restrict reportage that could hamper the investigation of this case due to sensationalisation. News channels named as having conducted such media trials included Times Now, Republic TV, Zee News, News 18, and India Today. On 28 August, the Press Council of India (PCI), the autonomous press watchdog established by parliament, said coverage of the Sushant Singh Rajput case by many media outlets "is in violation of the norms of journalistic conduct." The PCI advised media to not carry out a "parallel trial" by narrating the story to induce public belief in the guilt of one whom the PCI called "the person indicted." In their September 2020 study "Anatomy of a Rumour: Social media and the suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput," University of Michigan associate professor Joyojeet Pal and colleagues found Indian journalists and media houses "equally complicit in pushing an agenda against Rhea Chakraborty." In p
articular, during the first month following Rajput's death, news channel Republic TV "pushed insinuations on the finances of Rhea Chakraborty's parents." Over time, the researchers recount, Rhea Chakraborty was slandered, hounded, and "intensely targeted by trolling and mainstream media specula