SC notice to Rajeev Kumar on CBI plea challenging bail

Supreme court issued a notice to IPS officer Rajeev Kumar on CBI's appeal challenging the anticipatory bail

In this file photo dated Feb 4, 2019, shows Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar during the Joint Investiture Ceremony of West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police, in Kolkata. The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, granted anticipatory bail to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam case. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to top West Bengal police officer Rajeev Kumar on a plea by the CBI to cancel anticipatory bail granted to him in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case.

Kumar, the then Kolkata police commissioner, is known as a confidant of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She had rushed to his residence on February 3 when the CBI sleuths wanted to question him. She subsequently sat on a dharna which got lifted on February 5 when the top court intervened into the matter and granted him protection from arrest.

On Friday, a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde, and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, admitted the CBI's plea for consideration but asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to justify as to why custodial interrogation of the officer was necessary. "You have to convince us why his custody is necessary," the bench told Mehta.

"He is a high ranking officer. We are issuing the notice as it had something to do with allegations that he remained absconding," the bench added.

The CBI challenged the validity of the Calcutta High Court's order granting relief to the former Kolkata Police Chief. Kumar was given interim protection from arrest by the Calcutta High Court on October 1.

The 1989-batch IPS officer is accused of destroying evidence related to the Saradha chit fund scam scheme when he was heading the Special Investigation Team.

The CBI alleged the officer, as head of the SIT, had tampered with the evidence and provided incomplete call detail records of the accused, when the central investigating agency took over the probe in the multiple thousand crore scam on the direction of the apex court on May 9, 2014.

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