CBI vs Kolkata police: Supreme Court to hear plea against Rajeev Kumar on Tuesday

New Delhi: The tiff between the CBI and Kolkata police reached the Supreme court on Monday – where the centre claimed that commissioner Rajeev Kumar is a “potential accused” in the investigation into chit fund scams in Bengal.

The judges decided to hear the CBI petition on Tuesday and asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file an affidavit listing all its points. “The commissioner was served summons four times but he still did not cooperate,” Tushar Mehta told a bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Amidst centre’s flashpoint with Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, while representing the government said, “There are some extraordinary circumstances. The CBI Joint Director was held hostage at CBI office yesterday. We apprehend that electronic evidence might be destroyed.”

Mehta also alleged senior policemen in uniform had joined Mamata at the dharna site.

CBI interim director Nageswara Rao has accused Rajeev Kumar of destroying evidence in the chit fund cases. “There is evidence against him (Rajeev Kumar), he has been instrumental in causing destruction of this evidence and obstructing justice,” Rao told news agency ANI on Sunday, hours after CBI officers in Kolkata sent him an SOS.

“They have taken charge of all the evidence, seized all the documents. They have not been cooperating with us in handing over all the documents and a lot of evidence has been destroyed or caused to disappear,” Rao added.

The government asked the court to order Rajeev Kumar to surrender all the evidence he had, expressing the worry that he may try to destroy electronic evidence.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said there is “no evidence that Kolkata police is destroying evidence” and added: “Lay down evidence and we will come down so heavily that he will regret it.”

Appearing for West Bengal government, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the Supreme Court that it is witch hunt by the CBI as the Kolkata police chief is a witness and not an accused in the case. But, the bench told him to keep ready the defences of state government ready tomorrow, when it will hear the case.

Kumar will regret if he thinks of destroying evidence: SC

  • In the hearing on Monday, the apex cport handed out a sharp warning to Kolkata police commissioner against destruction of 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,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said after the Central Bureau of Investigation complained that the police officer had not cooperated with its probe and was suspected to have attempted to destroy evidence.

Around 40 CBI officers arrived at the Kolkata police commissioner’s home last evening, alleged the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress, adding that they tried to question him without a warrant.

The CBI team was detained by Kolkata police in an unprecedented chain of events that also witnessed chief minister Mamata Banerjee rushing to Kumar’s residence. The CBI officers were taken to Shakespeare Sarani police station and released around at 8:40 pm, under instruction from Mamata Banerjee.

Rajeev Kumar investigated the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams in which several members of Mamata Banerjee’s party have been charged or arrested.

The CBI alleges that the police chief had not responded to its repeated summons over the past two years; he had also skipped an Election Commission meeting on poll preparations, spurring talk about Kumar “absconding”.