SC asks Rajeev Kumar to appear before CBI, Mamata Banerjee welcomes order

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KOLKATA: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Shillong, Meghalaya as a neutral place.


The apex court also said faithfully cooperate with the agency in the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam probe.

The three-judge Supreme Court bench comprising CJI Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed that Kumar can’t be arrested during the course of an investigation.

“We direct the police commissioner to make himself available and fully cooperate. At the same time, no coercive steps would be taken. We will deal with contempt petition later” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

The top court will be heard on February 20 and it’s cleared that the personal appearance after the filing of replays of the concerned officers may be required on February 20 and that will be communicated by the secretary general of the SC on February 19.

This came after the central investigative agency filed a plea in the apex court against the city police commissioner.

Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal appeared on behalf of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The petition alleged the destruction of electronic evidence related to the Saradha chit fund scam case.

“Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar was heading the SIT set up by the West Bengal government to probe the case and they had provided doctored call data records”, Attorney General K K Venugopal said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared on behalf of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar.

“The CBI's action was meant to score points”, Abhishek Manu Singhvi stated.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she was absolutely happy with the Supreme Court verdict directing Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI in Shillong.

Addressing the media from the dharna site at Kolkata’s Metro Channel, she said:

“Our Party has great respect for the judiciary and today’s verdict will boost the morale of the officers”.

The West Bengal CM Mamata is on a dharna since Sunday night over the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams.

On Monday she described her sit-in over the CBI's attempt to question Kolkata Police chief as a "non-political" protest.

A 1989-batch IPS officer-Rajeev Kumar has been serving as Kolkatta’s police commissioner since January 2016.

He led the SIT investigation into the scams until 2014 when the agency took over following directions from the Supreme Court.

 

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