Saradha Scam: SC withdraws protection from arrest to ex-Kolkata cop Rajeev Kumar

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The Supreme Court on Friday withdrew its interim protection from arrest granted to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam case and gave him seven days to approach the appropriate court for legal remedy.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also made it clear that the CBI can pursue the case in accordance with law.

The court was hearing an application by the CBI seeking vacation of the order which granted interim protection from arrest to Kumar.

The CBI told the top court that it wanted custodial interrogation of Kumar, who was earlier heading West Bengal Police SIT probing chit fund scam, as there was preliminary evidence that he had allegedly tried to destroy or tamper with evidence and “shield high and mighty” in the case.

However, Kumar’s counsel had countered CBI’s submissions and told the bench that the agency wanted his custodial interrogation “just to humiliate” him.

A major controversy broke on February 3, when a team of CBI officers went to Kumar’s residence to question him in connection with Saradha Chit Fund scam. However, the CBI team was not allowed to question and were instead detained by the Kolkata police. Following which a clash broke out between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government with the Mamata sitting on a dharna against the BJP-led Centre over alleged misuse of CBI.

The matter then reached the top Court which directed Kumar to appear before the agency and cooperate in the investigation of cases arising out of the chit fund scandal.

The court chose Shillong as the neutral meeting place “to avoid all unnecessary controversy” and made it clear that no coercive action including arrest would be taken against Kumar.