The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday filed a fresh plea in the Supreme Court seeking permission to arrest former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha Chit fund scam. The central probe agency also sought recalling of the top court's order of February 5 granting protection from arrest to the ex-Kolkata top cop.
The probe agency further mentioned that the custodial interrogation of Kumar is required to unravel the conspiracy and nexus between directors of Saradha Group and the politicians related to the case. CBI further stated that Rajeev Kumar, who appeared before the agency for questioning in Shillong as per the Supreme Court order, remained elusive and evaded all pertinent questions.
It also said that Kumar did not assist the CBI in making available crucial evidence in the case and has not disclosed any crucial information he was privy to. CBI states Kumar who was in-charge of day-to-day functioning of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case, failed in collecting certain key electronic evidence.
"...in order to recover the material evidence and to investigate into the acts of commission and omission on the part of Bidhan Nagar Police Commissionerate and the SIT in causing concealment or causing disappearance of evidence that was collected by them during their investigation, and to investigate into the larger conspiracy aspect, it is requested that CBI be allowed to examine Rajeev Kumar and other police officers and the consequent investigation and collection of evidence if so necessitates then for subject them to custodial interrogation," the agency said in its plea. On March 26, the SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi while perusing the status report filed by the agency, said that the document reveals "something very, very serious".
The court's observation came after it perused the CBI's status report on the examination of Kumar in Shillong in connection with multi-crore ponzi scam cases, including the Saradha and Rose Valley scams. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the CBI, had said the statements made by Kumar and other contemnors in their affidavits in contempt petition were "misleading and demonstrably false".
The court then had asked the CBI to file an application listing the allegations supported by full facts and particulars. CBI had filed the contempt plea in the apex court against the three officers for alleged willful and deliberate violation of the top court's orders.
The plea was filed after the unprecedented chain of events in February when a CBI team was detained by the Kolkata Police when they reached Kumar's residence. It was followed by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to the top cop's residence. The CBI officers were taken to a police station and released later.
(With inputs from agencies.)