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CBI moves Supreme Court for custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar

Supreme Court of India

Synopsis: As per the application, since the matter had been pending in the supreme court for over a year, it should be considered at the earliest for a hearing.

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

In a pending petition before the Supreme Court against Kumar in relation with the scam, the investigating agency has filed an application to that effect.

The investigating agency argued that Kumar did not cooperate with the investigation and in his responses, remained evasive.

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In the case, Kumar’s custodial interrogation is necessary to uncover the larger nexus and involvement of other accused in the scam, the plea adds.

Therefore, CBI sought an urgent hearing of its plea, arguing that since the matter has been pending before the supreme court for more than a year, it should be considered at the earliest for hearing.

CBI also prayed for the cancellation of the anticipatory bail given to Kumar so that custodial interrogation can be carried out.

Kumar’s involvement in evidence tampering obtained during an investigation into the Saradha Chit Fund Scam was alleged by the CBI. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Kumar initially supervised the probe into the scam. It is alleged that, when the case was subsequently moved to the CBI, documents relating to payments made to elected public representatives went missing. For the same sense, the CBI sought permission to interrogate Kumar.

In February 2019, however, the issue assumed dramatic overtones when a team of CBI officers landed at Kumar’s doorstep to question him. The CBI officers were restricted by the Kolkata Police from entering Kumar’s bungalow and detained at a police station instead. This led the CBI to move the Supreme Court.

The Court granted Kumar interim protection from arrest on February 5, 2019, while directing him to comply with the CBI investigation. The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna passed the order.

The Bench withdrew the interim protection on May 17, 2019, although it had given Kumar the liberty to move in this respect to the Calcutta High Court.

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

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