West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De told the Supreme Court Monday that none of the instrumentalities of the state violated its order that allegedly obstructed the course of investigation in the Saradha chit fund scam. While De left it to DGP Virendra Kumar and Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to answer the CBI allegations of tampering with evidence and protecting people close to the ruling Trinamool Congress, he said the state police authorities extended cooperation and support, both in terms of manpower and equipment, to the central agency to ensure that the investigation is carried out effectively, efficiently and in a transparent manner.
In his affidavit, De tendered his unconditional and unambiguous apology for any "inadvertent disobedience" of the orders of the apex court but said that on the perusal of the contents of the CBI's contempt petition, he denies "all and singular averments, allegations and contents of the application". De was responding to the apex court's contempt notice that there were a willful and deliberate violation and disobedience of the orders of May 9, 2014, February 5, 2015, December 15, 2017, and July 16, 2018, in connection with the chit fund scam.
He claimed that the State police has gone further and "sou motu" provided information and all documentation which the CBI failed to unearth during the course of its investigation, and also offered protection to the personnel of CBI by way of 'Bandhobasts', and deployment of Rapid Action Force, whenever required. "The conduct of the State Police is such that they have gone out of their way to assist the CBI to comply in letter and spirit with the directions passed by this court on May 9, 2014, in the instant petition," he said in the affidavit.
The chief secretary contended that instead of approaching the Calcutta High Court to address any grievance, as per the liberty granted by it, the CBI has now preferred the present contempt petition before the apex court alleging non-cooperation by the State government. "It is most respectfully submitted that all the above orders passed by this Court have been duly complied with in letter and spirit by the Alleged Contemnor herein and that there is no willful disobedience of any orders passed by this Court, as indicated above.
"The general co-operation as directed by this Court has been extended to by the state government. herein and that at no point in time there has been any obstruction of the investigation nor has any official of the State government denied cooperation in this regard," De said in the affidavit. Asserting there was no element of deliberate defiance or mental willfulness on his part, the chief secretary said that the DGP, being the head of the police force, is the competent administrative head, who is best placed to respond to all the allegations raised by the CBI.
While refuting all allegation of the CBI, the chief secretary asked the apex court to direct the agency not to make any vague allegations against any State Official without substantial and cogent evidence.
(With inputs from agencies.)