The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its probe into the Saradha chit fund scam even as the apex court ordered that Kumar must not be arrested by the agency.
The court also summoned Rajeev Kumar, Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to appear before it on February 20, which is also the next date of hearing in the case.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court further directed Kumar to make all the documents related to the chit fund scam available for probe.
Rajeev Kumar’s questioning by the CBI will be done in Shillong, as it is a neutral place, the court said.
The CBI earlier on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging there were several incriminating materials that were collected during the investigation by the CBI against the senior police officials as well as senior politicians in the Saradha chit fund scam.
The CBI in its affidavit also claimed that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar had destroyed the evidence in the chit fund scam when he headed the SIT.
The agency said that when the investigation was being done by the SIT, crucial evidence such as laptops, mobile phones etc were handed over to the main accused in the Saradha scam case by the investigating officer of West Bengal Police. It said the “crime” was committed under the direct supervision of Rajeev Kumar.
Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the material including copies of call records handed over by SIT to CBI was doctored.
Venugopal further pleaded before the Supreme Court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the alleged contemnors, which the court declined observing that the contempt petition will be dealt with later.
The court, however, issued a notice to Rajeev Kumar, the DGP and the West Bengal government on the contempt plea.
The CBI had on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the investigation in the Saradha chit fund case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the probe agency sought directions to Kumar to cooperate with the investigation and surrender all the evidence related to the chit fund case, stating that the top cop was a “potential accused”.
Hearing on the CBI plea, CJI Gogoi had said, “If Kolkata Police Commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this Court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret.”
The court further permitted the CBI to bring the material on record to support its claim that the West Bengal Police Commissioner was trying to destroy evidence.
The drama started on Sunday afternoon when a team of 40-odd CBI officers reached Kumar’s residence, and a team of Kolkata Police officers rushed there to inquire if they had the documents required to question the CP.
Later, a small team of the agency officials was taken to the Shakespeare Sarani police station for further discussions. Soon, more CBI men arrived at the Loudon Street home of Rajeev Kumar and a commotion ensued. Some CBI men were then bundled into police jeeps and taken to the police station.
After the CBI-police face-off, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee began a sit-in in front of the Metro Cinema to protest “insults” faced at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. She accused both the BJP leaders of organising a “coup” on West Bengal.