‘Will deal with contempt petition later’: SC directs Kolkata police chief to cooperate with CBI probe; prevents arrest

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Commissioner Of Police Kolkata, DGP and West Bengal government on contempt plea directing Rajeev Kumar to make himself available for the investigation by CBI in relation to the Saradha chit fund scam.

We will direct the Police Commissioner to make himself available and fully cooperate.We will deal with contempt petition later,” observed CJI, reported ANI. The top court further set February 20 as the next date of hearing in the case.

The court said that Kumar cannot be arrested and directed the meeting between him and the CBI to take place at a neutral place—Shillong, Meghalaya. The court also directed the commissioner to faithfully cooperate in the probe.

The CBI had approached the Supreme Court stating that the Kolkata Police commissioner was a potential accused in the Saradha Chit Fund scam. CBI claimed that the local police department could be destroying crucial evidence.

The CBI, according to ANI, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging that there are several incriminating evidence that was collected during the investigation by the CBI against the senior police officials as well as senior politicians.

The affidavit claims that investigation was carried out by the SIT and several crucial evidence such as laptops, mobile phones were handed over to the main accused in Saradha scam case by the investigating officer of WB police working under direct supervision of Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar.

Despite regular monitoring of the case by the High Court, crucial evidence was returned to the main accused. This was a clear indication of the connivance of the SIT and the larger conspiracy in the matter where local authorities obstructed the probe.

Attorney General K.K.Venugopal who opened the argument on behalf of CBI claimed that evidence from the case was destroyed. He further alleged that Kolkata Police had provided doctored call data records to regarding the case. Venugopal said that Kumar was heading SIT set up by West Bengal govt to probe chit fund scam.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kumar alleged that the CBI’s action was meant to score points. The applications, accusing the Kolkata Police chief of destroying evidence related to the case, has alleged that an extraordinary situation has arisen in which top police officials of the West Bengal Police are sitting on a dharna along with a political party in Kolkata.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been sitting on a dharna since Sunday. On Monday she described her sit-in over the CBI’s attempt to question Kolkata Police chief as a “non-political” protest.

After Venugopal pleaded before the Supreme Court to initiate contempt of court proceeding against contemnors, the court issued notice to Kumar, DGP and the West Bengal government.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi who is appearing for the West Bengal government in the case, observed that it was an attempt to “humiliate and score points”. “What’s the great urgency? For 5 yrs there was no FIR. There is not a single FIR against Rajeev Kumar under 201 (Destruction of evidence) of the IPC?”he said.

Meanwhile, on the petition filed by Rajeev Kumar in Kolkata High Court seeking interim relief, the court postponed the case to Thursday as the matter between the police and CBI is sub judice in the apex court.