The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday extended the interim protection from arrest granted to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar till July 22, ANI reported. The Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case.
Meanwhile, the court said it will take up Kumar’s plea to be allowed to travel outside Kolkata on July 15, reported The Hindu. Kumar’s counsel Milan Mukherjee said that since his client was heading an investigating agency, he should to allowed to travel outside the city. Kumar is at present the additional director general (Criminal Investigation Department) of West Bengal Police.
Last month, the court had refused to advance the hearing of the CBI’s plea against Kumar. The counsel for the investigating agency had 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-rupee scam.
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 CBI, which is seeking his custodial interrogation.
The agency wants to interrogate him as he reportedly gave evasive replies during questioning in Shillong in February this year. Kumar is accused of tampering with crucial evidence in the case. He had 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 CBI in 2014.
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.