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  India   All India  27 Mar 2019  Supreme Court: Very serious CBI revelations against top cop

Supreme Court: Very serious CBI revelations against top cop

THE ASIAN AGE. | J VENKATESAN
Published : Mar 27, 2019, 1:27 am IST
Updated : Mar 27, 2019, 1:27 am IST

The CJI, however, refused to comment on the “seriousness or otherwise” of the allegations made by the investigating agency against the top official.

Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)
 Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday termed as “very, very serious” the revelations made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its status report on interrogation of the then Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam and asked the probe agency to file an application if it wants permission for his custodial interrogation.

The top court’s observation comes a month after it directed the CBI to file an affidavit giving details about the alleged contempt committed by West Bengal police and Mr Kumar in connection with the case.

 

Mr Kumar, who has now been shifted to the CID, is facing heat for allegedly tampering with evidence, including CDR (call data records), in the Rs 10,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam that involves several politicians from the ruling Trinamul and other parties. He earlier headed the state SIT to probe the chit fund scam.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, after perusing the documents given by the CBI in a sealed envelope, told the attorney general “it is a serious matter”.

The CJI, however, refused to comment on the “seriousness or otherwise” of the allegations made by the investigating agency against the top official.

 

He directed the CBI to file a “separate application” in 10 days with regard to certain prayers it has made for further action against Mr Kumar.

Senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, appearing for West Bengal officials, opposed the liberty being granted to the CBI to file an application against Mr Kumar.

“While considering the contempt matter, suppose some very, very serious things come to our notice then, should we close our eyes to that,” the bench said.

The bench was hearing contempt applications filed by the CBI against the state DGP, chief secretary and Mr Kumar for defying the apex court’s order in Saradha scam and tampering with evidence.

 

The probe agency filed the contempt plea last month after the February 3 incident in which CBI personnel, who had gone to question Mr Kumar at his residence, were taken into custody and manhandled by the West Bengal police.

The plea said Mr Kumar was served with summons multiple times, but failed to respond and created obstacles in the investigation.

In a subsequent hearing, the Supreme Court had said that the CBI was permitted to bring material on record to support its claim that the police commissioner was trying to destroy evidence.

“If Kolkata police commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret,” the Chief Justice had said.

 

The apex court had also taken note of the February 3 incident in which top state cops allegedly sat with chief minister Mamata Banerjee on dharna to protest the CBI bid to question Mr Kumar.

After the apex court’s intervention, Mr Kumar appeared before the CBI in Shillong for questioning.

Apart from Kolkata police chief, other suspects who have so far been questioned by investigators include ex-Congress leader and present BJP minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, ex-Trinamul MP and present BJP leader Mukul Roy, Trinamul minister Suvendu Adhikari, ex-Trinamul minister Shyamapada Mukherjee, industrialist Harsh Neotia, painter Suvaprasanna, actor and ex-Trinamul MP Mithun Chakraborty.

 

Tags: supreme court, rajeev kumar, saradha chit fund scam