Barasat district and sessions court in West Bengal on Tuesday dismissed former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s anticipatory bail plea in connection with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s inquiry into the Saradha scam, PTI reported. Earlier in the day, a special court in Barasat had refused to hear his plea, and asked Kumar to move the district court.
Barasat Sessions Judge S Rashidi said the court had no jurisdiction in the case as it was registered at Alipore district court. Barasat court is in North 24 Parganas district while Alipore is in South 24 Parganas district.
The CBI has failed to locate Kumar since Friday when the Calcutta High Court bench withdrew his interim protection from arrest. The court had also rejected the police officer’s plea to quash a CBI summons notice.
Following the High Court order, the CBI served a notice to Kumar to appear before it on Saturday for questioning. The investigating agency had earlier told the court that Kumar cited frivolous reasons for not appearing before it.
Kumar did not show up for interrogation on Saturday. He was then asked to appear before the CBI by 2 pm on Monday. But the police officer was again a no-show.
The CBI had delivered Kumar’s summons to the Director General of Police Veerendra on Saturday. The investigating agency reached the state secretariat in Howrah again on Monday and delivered letters to Chief Secretary Malay De and Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay regarding Kumar’s reluctance to show up for questioning. The CBI sought details of Kumar’s whereabouts and the grounds on which he had gone on a month-long leave, an unidentified senior police officer told PTI.
The CBI may now form special teams to trace Kumar, reported PTI. “The probe team had written to the West Bengal chief secretary and the director general of police to determine his whereabouts,” an unidentified CBI official told The Hindu. “It was later told that the CBI’s message had reached Mr. Kumar.”
Kumar is accused of tampering with crucial evidence in the Saradha chit fund case. He headed a 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 Investigation in 2014. The agency wanted to interrogate him as he reportedly gave evasive replies during questioning in Shillong in February.
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.
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