Former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Monday approached the Supreme Court, seeking an extension of his seven-day interim protection from arrest, reported Bar and Bench. He cited lawyers’ strike in West Bengal as a reason.
The vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna asked Kumar’s counsel to approach the secretary general for setting up of a three-judge bench. “You are a lawyer and you know that CJI is the master of roster,” the bench told Kumar’s counsel.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has sought Kumar’s custodial interrogation in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam on the grounds that he had given evasive replies during questioning. On Friday, the Supreme Court had vacated its order granting interim protection from arrest and gave Kumar seven days to seek legal remedies.
The CBI had interrogated Kumar in February in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong about his alleged role in tampering with crucial evidence in the chit-fund case. Kumar was heading the Special Investigation Team set up by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to investigate the scam before the top court handed over the case to the CBI.
The CBI had moved the Supreme Court after Kolkata Police prevented its officials from approaching Kumar at his official residence in Kolkata on February 3. 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.
Kumar was later transferred by the state government to the Crime Investigation Department as the additional director general of police and inspector general of police. He was removed from the position by the Election Commission on Wednesday.
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.