In a huge setback for former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar, the Calcutta High Court on Friday vacated its previous order of granting him protection from arrest in the Saradha chit fund scam. It also rejected his plea to reject the CBI notice asking him to appear before the probe agency for questioning in the case. Currently placed in West Bengal CID as additional director general, Kumar was a part of the Special Investigation Team that was formed by the state government to probe the case.
In recent times, a number of political leaders like TMC Derek O’ Brien and Partha Chatterjee have been asked to appear before the agency in connection with the Saradha scam. In 2014, the Supreme Court had transferred the case to the CBI, asking it to probe it along with other chit fund cases.
Earlier on September 2, when Kumar had urged the court to quash the CBI notice to appear before it, agency’s lawyer Y J Dastoor has argued that several other top officials had also been questioned in the case.
At the time, when the scam was unearthed, Kumar was the commissioner of Bidhannagar Police in 2013. His counsel Milan Mukherjeetold the court that Kumar after the daily to-day operations of an SIT in 2013, but the CBI did not call him as a witness till October 2017.
The Saradha group has been accused of duping lakhs of investors of about Rs 2500 crore, promising them higher rates of returns.
Earlier this year, when CBI officials reached Kumar’s official residence to interrogate him in the case, there was awas high drama between Calcutta Police and the CBI, after which some of the sleuths were detained before being let off.
Soon after, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee sat on dharna in support of Kumar, accusing the Centre of politicising the case.
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Source: Financial Express