NEW DELHI: The tug of war between the Centre and West Bengal government intensified on Monday with the former moving the Supreme Court accusing the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government of stopping CBI officers from conducting a probe into the Rs 10,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam.
Later in the day, the Centre also moved the apex court against West Bengal Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Kolkata Police Commissioner for wilful and deliberate violation of the top court’s orders. A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, said that it will hear the pleas on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Rajeev Kumar is said to have moved the Calcutta High Court in the matter. In the morning, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the case before CJI, who agreed to hear it tomorrow. The court asked the CBI to submit proof to prove its allegation that the Kolkata police commissioner had destroyed key evidence related to the ponzi scam.
The court did not accept the Centre’s submission that it had moved in on Rajeev Kumar to prevent the destruction of evidence, which is crucial to their investigation.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, tried his best to inform the court about what happened to the agency’s officers in Kolkata. He said the face-off that occurred in Kolkata was an exceptional situation.Mehta submitted before the bench that the CBI Joint Director was held hostage at the CBI office on Sunday.
Gunning for the top cop
An IPS officer from the 1989 batch, Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar headed the special investigation team (SIT) that investigated the Saradha and Rose Valley ponzi scams before the apex court transferred the cases to the CBI in 2014. While transferring the chit fund cases to the CBI, the top court had directed state authorities to cooperate.