A team of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Sunday visited former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s home in the city’s Park Street area to serve him summons in connection with the Saradha scam, Ei Samay reported.
After not finding him there, the investigating agency’s officers went to the office of the deputy commissioner of police and instructed Kumar to appear at the CBI office in the city’s Salt Lake locality on Monday, according to ANI.
Earlier in the day, the CBI issued a lookout notice against Kumar to prevent him from leaving the country. The notice is valid for one year.
The agency’s actions came a couple of days after the Supreme Court refused to entertain Kumar’s plea seeking protection from arrest. His interim protection ended on Friday. The court asked the police officer to approach the courts in West Bengal or file an application before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
On May 17, the top court had lifted the interim protection from arrest granted to Kumar and gave him seven days to seek legal help. He approached the vacation bench of the court three days later seeking an indefinite extension of protection from arrest, citing a strike by lawyers in West Bengal as a reason. The following day, the court refused to set up a special bench to hear his petition.
The CBI interrogated Kumar in February in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong about his alleged role in tampering with crucial evidence in the Saradha case. Kumar 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 investigative agency wants to take him into custody for interrogation as he had reportedly given evasive replies during questioning in Shillong.
The CBI moved the Supreme Court after Kolkata Police prevented its officials from approaching Kumar at his official residence on February 3. After Kumar’s dismissal, he was transferred to the Crime Investigation Department, where he held the rank of additional director general of police and inspector general of police.
Meanwhile, reports said the West Bengal government has reinstated Anuj Sharma as Kolkata police commissioner. Sharma, who is the inspector general of police (operations) at present, was transferred last month before the Lok Sabha elections. This had prompted the Trinamool Congress to submit a memorandum to the Election Commission of India alleging bias.