CBI vs Mamata: No top cop arrest, says SC

Apex court directs Kolkata police commissioner to appear before CBI

Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar during the Joint Investiture Ceremony of West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police, in Kolkata on Monday. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kolkata police commissioner IPS officer Rajeev Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and fully cooperate in the investigation into the Saradha and Rose Valley chit funds scam.

The top court, however, directed that no coercive action or arrest of Kumar should be made by the CBI.

In an order which may diffuse the unprecedented drama and confrontation being seen in West Bengal, a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed that Kumar would be questioned at a neutral place, Shillong. 

The top court issued notice to the West Bengal Chief Secretary, DGP and Kolkata police commissioner on a contempt petition filed by the CBI and sought their reply by February 18. 


READ: SC order on Kolkata top cop a moral victory: Mamata


The court said the personal presence of the officers may be required on February 20, next date of hearing depending upon their response to the notice.

At the outset, Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, contended that Kumar, who headed a SIT to probe chit fund scam between April, 2013 and May, 2014, when the probe was transferred to the CBI, did not hand over entire materials.

In fact, the call detail records of accused were doctored, he said. The top law officer also claimed Kumar did not send the seized laptops and mobile phones of the accused for forensic examinations.

 

The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said, "we don't think there should be any difficulty in Rajeev Kumar making himself available before the CBI."

Senior advocate A M S Singhvi, appearing for the West Bengal government, submitted that the CBI wanted to humiliate the officer. What is the purpose of coming to the officer's residence on Sunday evening and on the last date of acting CBI director, he asked.

Venugopal, however, insisted the court should take contempt actions against the officers as the probe was being conducted on a direction by the top court of May 9, 2014.

Earlier in the morning, the CBI filed an affidavit, contending Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Kolkata was prima facie found to be guilty of having committed criminal offences.  

"Kumar has not coordinated in spite of the summons being issued. Kumar has also destroyed, destructed and tampered with the material primary evidence in the form of CDRs while handing over the same to the CBI on 28.6.2018," it said.

Kumar, IPS was the Commissioner of Police, of Bidhan Nagar Police Commisionerate from 2012 to 2015. It is submitted that under the said Commissionarate, both big ponzi companies i.e Shardha and Rose Valley were flourishing, it said.


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The CBI claimed when the investigation was being done by the SIT, crucial original, primary and fundamental evidence such as Laptops, mobile phones etc. were handed over to the main accused in the Sharada Scam case by the investigating officer of the West Bengal Police working under direct supervision of Kumar.

"The return of crucial evidence to the main accused by the SIT headed by Kumar, despite the regular monitoring by the High Court, clearly show connivance of the SIT to a larger conspiracy wherein local authorities have obstructed investigation and made attempts to destroy the evidence prior to the transfer of the case to the CBI by this court," it said. 

The entire SIT headed by Kumar, is under investigation as the said SIT, instead of serving the purpose, was conniving with the accused/potential accused persons and was actively subverting the investigation process, it said.

There was an FIR dated October 04, 2013 in Durga Pur police station Kolkata against M/s Rose Valley and the same was suppressed by the SIT, functionally headed by Kumar, IPS, the CBI alleged.

"A comparison of the doctored/tampered CDRs given by Kumar and the CDRs obtained by the CBI from the service providers leaves no manner of doubt that the CDRs handed over by Kumar on 28.6.2018 were tampered and doctored.  The CBI craves leave to hand over the details of these doctored/tampered with evidence in a 'sealed cover' at the time of hearing of this petition as the investigation is ongoing," it said.

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CBI vs Mamata: No top cop arrest, says SC

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