New Delhi: The Supreme Court will pronounce its order on Friday on a plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking permission for custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar over his alleged role in destroying evidence in the Saradha chit fund case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments of the CBI and Kumar’s counsel on May 2.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was representing the probe agency, while senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared on the behalf of Rajeev Kumar and state of West Bengal during the hearing.
The bench had on March 30, asked the CBI to show materials and satisfy the court on its plea for the custodial interrogation of Kumar. Singhvi had opposed the CBI’s plea for Kumar’s custodial interrogation.
CBI had filed the plea seeking direction to withdraw its February 5 order granting protection to Rajeev Kumar from the arrest.
The investigative agency had argued that Kumar’s custodial interrogation was required to probe the larger conspiracy and Kumar and other police officials’ role in causing disappearance and destruction of evidence in the case.
CBI had also said the arrest and custodial interrogation of Rajeev Kumar was required to unravel the conspiracy, nexus between directors of Saradha Group and politicians.
The CBI had said that Rajeev Kumar, who earlier appeared before CBI officials for questioning in Shillong as per the Supreme Court order, remained elusive and evaded all pertinent questions and also did not assist the CBI in making available crucial evidence in the chit fund cases. Kumar has not disclosed any crucial information he was privy to.
An unprecedented chain of events unfolded on February 3 when a CBI team was detained by Kolkata Police when it reached Kumar’s residence to question him. It was followed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to the officer’s home. The CBI officers were taken to a police station and released later.