SC reserves order on CBI's plea to arrest Rajeev Kumar

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna heard the arguments by senior advocate Indira Jaising on behalf of Kumar and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the CBI. (DH File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea by the CBI to modify the February 5 directions not to take any coercive action against the former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar for allegedly obstructing the probe into the Saradha chit fund scam case.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna heard the arguments by senior advocate Indira Jaising on behalf of Kumar and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the CBI.

Jaising contended that there was no criminal intent on part of Kumar, who headed the state SIT before CBI took over the probe into the scam related to duping of thousands of investors in Ponzi schemes.

"Except causing humiliation, there was no purpose in CBI's intent to make custodial interrogation," she said.

Look at credentials of the officer, he was awarded the President's medal in 2015, she said.

"Is this not a case of mala fide? Why did they not do due diligence, the evidence alleged to be tampered was handed over to the CBI in 2014 when the probe was handed over to it. There has been not a single conviction, since the CBI took over the probe," she submitted.

Mehta, for his part, said the agency wanted the protection granted by the apex court to be removed as the officer did not cooperate and remained evasive.

Earlier, the West Bengal government had accused the CBI of making a “politically motivated” move to arrest the officer at the insistence of senior BJP leader, Kailash Vijayvargiya, without naming him.

The CBI, which had on February 3, sought to question the officer, faced stiff resistance by the West Bengal police. State CM Mamata Banerjee rushed to the officer's residence and subsequently sat on a protest against the move.

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