The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to set up a special bench to hear former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s petition seeking an extension of his seven-day interim protection from arrest, ANI reported.
On Friday, the Supreme Court had vacated its order granting interim protection from arrest in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam and gave Kumar seven days to seek legal remedies. The Central Bureau of Investigation has sought Kumar’s custodial interrogation in connection with the scam on the grounds that he had given evasive replies during questioning.
Kumar approached the vacation bench of the Supreme Court on Monday seeking an indefinite extension of protection from arrest citing lawyers’ strike in West Bengal as a reason. But Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna asked Kumar’s counsel to approach the secretary general to list it before an appropriate bench.
But Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday morning rejected the urgent listing of Kumar’s petition, according to Bar and Bench. Kumar’s interim protection from arrest, which began on May 17, will end on May 24.
On Monday, Kumar’s lawyer had told the vacation bench that the Supreme Court had granted seven days time to Kumar to approach the competent court for legal remedies, but four days had already elapsed and they needed time to approach the competent court.
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 last week.
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.