Justice Madhumati Mitra of Calcutta High Court extended the interim order directing the CBI not to take any coercive action against former Kolkata commissioner of police, Rajeev Kumar, till 28 August. The matter will be heard on 27 August. The direction extending the interim order was given after junior counsel of the CBI submitted that his senior was out of town in connection with another case. An adjournment was sought for the Kumar matter.
Kumar had moved court praying for quashing of the CBI petition seeking his custodial interrogation in the Saradha chit fund scam for allegedly tampering with evidence in his capacity of the head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the Saradha scam. Kumar, a former commissioner of Kolkata Police and Bidhannagar Police, was appointed additional director general (ADG) CID before the Lok Sabha elections by Trinamul Congress-run state government.
He was, however, removed by Election Commission after implementation of the Model Code of Conduct before the parliamentary elections and was attached to the Union home ministry. He was reinstated following withdrawal of the model code. On 5 February, the Supreme Court had directed Kumar to appear before the central investigative agency in connection with the matter. It had also said that no coercive step should be taken against Kumar. The top court’s directive had come against the backdrop of a ‘dharna’ organised by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata earlier in the month in protest against the CBI’s attempt to arrest the top cop.
The chief minister had taken the step on the night of February 3 after a team of CBI reached the residence of Rajeev Kumar to examine him in the Saradha chit scam cases. The CBI five officers were detained by the city police and offices including residences of senior officers of CBI surrounded by the local police.
High political drama followed after chief minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to Kumar’s residence after learning of the CBI team’s visit. Later the scene of her stir shifted to Metro channel which turned into a rallying point of the protest against Centre’s intervention in the state.
Even after repeated summons, Rajeev Kumar refused to present himself before the CBI after which, the CBI reached his residence to question him.
After the Supreme Court’s direction, the CBI had asked Kumar to submit a few documents which were missing from the documents given to them by the SIT.
Kumar has been serving as Kolkata’s Police Commissioner since January 2016. He is said to have not responded to the earlier summons from the CBI in connection with the probe into the Saradha ponzi scams.