The Supreme Court will on Friday pronounce its verdict on a Central Bureau of Investigation plea seeking vacation of its order that granted interim protection from arrest to former Kolkata Commissioner of Police Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam, PTI reported.
The central agency had sought custodial interrogation of Kumar on the grounds that he had given evasive replies during questioning. However, on April 30, the Supreme Court ordered the CBI to submit evidence to establish its claim of Kumar’s involvement in the scam.
The Supreme Court’s directive came after Kumar’s counsel argued that the agency wanted his custodial interrogation “just to humiliate” him and the CBI should not be allowed to abuse the process of law. He labelled the CBI’s plea a “malafide exercise”.
The CBI had interrogated Kumar in February in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong about his alleged role in tampering crucial evidence in the chit fund case. Kumar was heading the Special Investigation Team set up by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to probe the scam before the case was handed over to the CBI by the top court.
The CBI had moved the Supreme Court after the Kolkata Police prevented its officials from approaching Kumar at his official residence in Kolkata on February 3. On the same night, Banerjee began the “Save the Constitution” protest at Esplanade, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of plotting a “coup”. Kumar had also joined the dharna, along with a few other police officers.
The Saradha company ran several ponzi schemes in West Bengal, allegedly defrauding lakhs of people. Thousands of crores of rupees were lost after the scheme collapsed in 2013.