Minutes after the Supreme Court directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the BJP dubbed it a moral victory for the probe agency.
Speaking to reporters after a three-judge bench of the apex court allowed the questioning of the Commissioner in the neutral ground of Meghalaya’s Shillong, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “This is a great moral victory for CBI.”
“Today we’ve to ask larger questions on behalf of the party. Lakhs of small investors were cheated and looted off their money. Is it not our moral obligation for an investigation? Why is Mamata-ji silent on this? Why are the other political parties silent on this?” Prasad said.
“This order was given by SC to investigate the conspiracy angle and also money laundering angle. This investigation must be done in a fair manner. Let’s not politicise it. This is a great moral victory for CBI,” he added.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC), too, claimed that it was a moral victory for the party.
Speaking to reporters from the protest venue, where she continues her sit-in for the 40th hour, Mamata Banerjee said that she will continue with her protest against the Centre and will take any decision only after a discussion with her leaders.
The TMC chief said she will consult with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is slated to visit her today, as well as Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik among other leaders.
On Tuesday, the apex court said that Kumar must “faithfully” cooperate with the probe agency in investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scam probes.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjeev Khanna also said that the CBI cannot arrest the Kolkata Police chief during the course of investigation.
The Supreme Court also sought Kumar’s response before 20 February, the next date of hearing on the allegations by the CBI that he was tampering with electronic evidence and that the SIT headed by him provided the agency with doctored materials.
In its order, the apex court also directed the West Bengal chief secretary, the DGP and the Kolkata Police Commissioner to file replies on the contempt pleas filed against them by the CBI on or before 18 February.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee started the dramatic dharna on Sunday night, hours after a team of CBI officials tried to question the police Commissioner in connection with ponzi scam cases.
Kolkata Police officials not only prevented the CBI officials from questioning the police chief but also bundled some of them to the police station where they were detained for a while.
Banerjee’s sit-in, dubbed ‘Save The Constitution’, has received wide support from anti-BJP parties except a few from across the country.