Centre vs Mamata: No clear winner in Bengal drama

Contesting the claims, senior advocate AM Singhvi said, the West Bengal Police and Kumar were fully cooperating with the agency.

Published: 06th February 2019 08:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2019 08:45 AM   |  A+A-

Mamata Banerjee, Rajeev Kumar

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee with Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI and fully cooperate in the investigation related to the Saradha chit fund scam case, but retrained the investigating agency from arresting or taking any coercive action against Kumar.

The three-judge bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi also asked the West Bengal Chief Secretary, the DGP and the Kolkata Police Commissioner to respond to the CBI’s contempt plea in the chit fund scam case. 

During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta alleged that Kumar was not cooperating in the investigation of the chit fund cases, handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court.

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The Special Investigation Team of the West Bengal Police, of which Kumar was the functional head, was not handing over complete documents to the CBI and some of those given were doctored, Venugopal and Mehta alleged. There were serious omissions or commissions wilfully done by the SIT, they alleged. “What was given to us were doctored copy of call records,” the AG said. 

Contesting the claims, senior advocate A M Singhvi said, the West Bengal Police and Kumar were “fully cooperating” with the agency. “Kumar has also conveyed to the CBI that the agency’s officials can come to his office anytime or they can meet him at any of the central places in the city,” he said.  There was no destruction of evidence, which the CBI is claiming now, after five years of investigation, he claimed.

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Accusing the state government of obstructing and intimidating CBI officials, Venugopal and Mehta said 25 officials who reached Kumar’s residence on Sunday for questioning him were bundled into a bus and taken to the police station and joint director Vikas Shrivastav’s house was under siege of the state police. 
However, Singhvi argued that the CBI action was an attempt to harass and humiliate the Kolkata Police chief and was meant to score political points.

Row over date

Rajeev Kumar has written to CBI chief R K Shukla saying he would be available for interrogation at Shillong on February 8. CBI joint director Pankaj Srivastav said it was for the agency to decide the date, not Kumar

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