The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a new petition filed by former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar seeking protection from arrest, reported Bar and Bench. The court said Kumar can approach the courts in West Bengal or file an application before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
On May 17, the court lifted the interim protection from arrest granted to Kumar and gave him seven days to seek legal help. His interim protection from arrest ends on Friday. The Central Bureau of Investigation has sought the police officer’s custodial interrogation in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, claiming he had given evasive replies during questioning.
Kumar approached the vacation bench of the Supreme Court on May 20 seeking an indefinite extension of protection from arrest, citing strike by lawyers in West Bengal as a reason. The following day, the court refused to set up a special bench to hear Kumar’s petition seeking an extension of his seven-day interim protection from arrest.
The CBI interrogated Kumar in February in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong about his alleged role in tampering with crucial evidence in the case. Kumar had headed 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 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 protest along with a few other police officers.
He was later transferred to the Crime Investigation Department, where he held the rank of 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.