The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday refused to advance hearing of a plea against former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. The High Court said that the hearing will be held on July 2 as decided earlier, PTI reported.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had moved the court asking for the hearing to be advanced. The counsel for the investigating agency said that the early disposal of Kumar’s application to quash the agency’s notice would help in speeding up investigation into the multi-crore scam.
The Calcutta High Court had scheduled the hearing of Kumar’s petition on June 12 after the investigating agency’s counsel brought up the matter before it.
On June 7, Kumar appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation for questioning in connection with the Saradha chit fund case. It was the first time he had been questioned in Kolkata as he was earlier interrogated by the investigating agency in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong as per Supreme Court’s order.
Kumar’s interrogation was possible after the Calcutta High Court on May 30 granted him one month’s protection from arrest. However, the court had listed certain conditions that Kumar needed to follow during this period. He was asked to deposit his passport and cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is seeking his custodial interrogation. Kumar had failed to appear before the investigating agency multiple times in the past, following which the agency was also forced to serve him summons at home.
On May 17, the Supreme Court lifted the interim protection from arrest granted to Kumar and gave him seven days to seek legal help.
Kumar headed the Special Investigation Team set up by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to investigate the scam before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Intelligence in 2014. The agency wants to interrogate him as he reportedly gave evasive replies during questioning in Shillong in February. Kumar is accused of tampering with crucial evidence in the case.
Kumar is now additional director general of police and inspector general of police at the state’s Crime Investigation Department.
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. Its promoter Sudipta Sen was arrested the same year.