[Saradha scam] CBI moves Supreme Court for custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar

As per the application, since the matter had been pending in the top court for over a year, it should be considered for hearing at the earliest.
[Saradha scam] CBI moves Supreme Court for custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has moved the Supreme Court seeking custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha scam.

The investigating agency has filed an application to this effect in a pending petition before the Supreme Court against Kumar in relation to the scam.

The investigating agency has contended that Kumar has not been cooperating with the investigation and remained evasive in his answers.

Custodial interrogation of Kumar is necessary in the case to unearth the larger nexus and involvement of other accused in the scam, the plea adds.

CBI has, therefore, sought urgent hearing of their plea stating that since the matter has been pending before the top court for over a year, it should be considered for hearing at the earliest.

CBI has also prayed that the anticipatory bail granted to Kumar be cancelled so that custodial interrogation can be conducted.

The CBI has alleged Kumar’s involvement in tampering of evidence collected during an investigation into the Saradha Chit Fund Scam. The probe into the scam was initially handled by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Kumar. It is alleged that documents concerning payments made to elected public representatives had gone missing when the case was subsequently transferred to the CBI. In relation to the same, the CBI had sought permission to interrogate Kumar.

However, the issue assumed dramatic overtones in February 2019 when a team of CBI officers landed at Kumar’s doorstep to question him. The Kolkata Police restrained the CBI officers from entering Kumar’s bungalow instead and detained them at a Police Station. This led to the CBI moving the Supreme Court.

On February 5, 2019 the Court granted Kumar interim protection from arrest while directing that he cooperate with the CBI investigation. The order was passed by the Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

On May 17, 2019 the Bench withdrew the interim protection, although it had granted Kumar liberty to move the Calcutta High Court in this regard.

The Calcutta High Court later granted him protection from arrest. In November 2019, the CBI appealed to the Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court order.

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