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The Supreme Court today withdrew the interim protection granted to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the ongoing Saradha scam probe. The interim protection afforded to Kumar by the Supreme Court in February this year will operate only for seven more days, the Court held.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi with Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna also made it clear that the CBI can pursue the case in accordance with law.
The Court, however, added that this order may not be treated as a direction to the CBI to carry out custodial interrogation.
This case, in which a probe is underway, resurfaced at the Supreme Court after a stand-off between the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Kolkata Police in February this year. The CBI had approached the Supreme Court against alleged “non-cooperation” of the West Bengal government after the State Police detained and subsequently released CBI officials who had arrived at the residence of then Kolkata Commissioner of Police, Rajeev Kumar to question him.
Kumar was heading the Special Investigation Team that was probing the Saradha Chit fund Scam and the Rose Valley Ponzi Scam. He was summoned for questioning by the CBI on several occasions after some documents relating to the scams went missing.
On February 3, a team of CBI officers landed at Kumar’s doorstep to question him. The Kolkata Police then restrained the CBI officers from entering Kumar’s bungalow, and detained them at a Police Station.
This led to the CBI moving the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had subsequently passed orders directing Kumar to make himself available to the CBI and co-operate with the probe. The Court had, however, ordered the CBI not to take any coercive steps against Kumar thereby granting him protection from arrest.
Alleging that there was tampering of evidence in the case and Kumar was involved in the same, the Centre procured an order from the Court directing telecom companies to co-operate with the probing agency and provide the relevant Call Data Records. The CBI later also sought permission from the Court to conduct custodial interrogation of Kumar.
Read the Order: