The Supreme Court on Tuesday told former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to reply within 10 days to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) status report.
The apex court on Tuesday said that the CBI in its report revealed something “very, very serious” about Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund case.
The probe agency filed a status report in the case against Kumar to the SC in a sealed cover. The report relates to the recent interrogation of the then Kolkata Police Commissioner in connection with the Saradha chit fund case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that it cannot “close its eyes” to the disclosure.
The apex court also directed CBI to file an application seeking appropriate relief against Kumar, who had earlier headed the state SIT on the chit fund case.
“We will later determine the charges and counter charges after hearing from both the sides,” the bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said.
The apex court also refused to drop the contempt plea filed by the CBI against West Bengal DGP and Chief Secretary besides various senior officials of the West Bengal government on the ground of non-cooperation in its probe and alleged destruction of evidence.
The CBI filed the contempt plea against the officials on 4 February following which the apex court directed Kumar to cooperate with the CBI in its probe into the Saradha chit fund scam. The court, however, ordered that Kumar must not be arrested by the agency.
Kumar was subsequently questioned by the CBI in Shillong. The interrogation lasted 40 hours. On 19 February, the West Bengal government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee transferred Kumar to the CID of the state police.
CBI has alleged 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.
The agency’s previous attempt at questioning the former top cop resulted in a major standoff between the Centre and the Mamata government.
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.
Mamata herself sat on a dharna at the Metro Channel in Kumar’s defence and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of using the CBI to undermine the Constitution.
The dharna continued for close to 48 hours ending on 5 February.