CBI wants Kolkata top cop to surrender, moves SC

CBI wants Kolkata top cop to surrender, moves SC

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses the public at the dharna site in Kolkata on Monday. DMK MP Kanimozhi (left) and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav (centre) look on. PTI

The CBI on Monday urged the Supreme Court to issue a direction to Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to immediately surrender before the probe agency in connection with the investigation into the multi-crore chit fund scams.

“The CBI has been conducting an investigation as per the direction of this court and the CBI has found substantial evidence against Kumar for which summons were issued. The summons were not responded to properly and it is also alleged that the police commissioner has been found to be destroying evidence,” the application filed by the CBI stated.

Pointing out the “unprecedented events”, including non-cooperation and flagrant violation of the rule of law, the CBI said the West Bengal Police on Sunday evening surrounded and laid siege to the CBI office. “It is most unfortunate that the elected head of the state, along with the DGP and other officials of the state who were obliged to cooperate with the CBI, have openly flouted the orders of the apex court,” the application stated, adding that Sunday’s events were intended to influence the investigation.

“Holding 25 officers of the CBI hostage...and after holding Pankaj Srivastava, joint director, CBI, and his family hostage in his own house, together with surrounding the CBI office, an atmosphere of terror was created. This flagrant and shameless defiance of the Constitution and the authority of the Supreme Court was on full display in media channels which were showing this undemocratic hooliganism live,” the application added.

The agency cited the May 9, 2014, judgement wherein the apex court said, “Needless to say the state police agencies currently investigating the cases shall provide the fullest cooperation to the CBI, including assistance in terms of men and material, to enable the latter to conduct and complete the investigation expeditiously.”

The CBI also relied upon an order passed on July 16, 2018, by a bench presided over by Justice Arun Mishra that the CBI officers should not be called by the state police. “It is not a happy state of affairs that the CBI officers should be called by the state police. They have to work in tandem with each other...,” the court had said.