The Supreme Court on Friday asked former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to reply to the Central Bureau of Investigation’s appeal against the anticipatory bail granted to him in the Saradha chit fund scam, PTI reported. The agency had moved the top court on October 4.
The bench, led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta the reason Kumar’s custody was required in the case. Mehta responded that Kumar had earlier absconded for a while, and that he had suppressed relevant information collected during the investigation of the scam.
Bobde noted that a notice was being sent to Kumar as there was “something about this person absconding”, Live Law reported.
Kumar, who is now the additional director general in the state Crime Investigation Department, headed the Special Investigation Team set up by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to look into the scam. After the Supreme Court transferred the case to the CBI in 2014, the agency wanted to question him. However, he reportedly gave evasive replies during interrogation in Shillong in February.
The Calcutta High Court had on October 1 granted anticipatory bail to Kumar on the grounds that he would cooperate with the CBI inquiry. The police officer surrendered at the Alipore court in Kolkata two days later and immediately got bail on the basis of two bonds for Rs 50,000 each.
The High Court had dismissed the need for Kumar’s custodial interrogation and also asked the investigating agency to give a 48-hour notice before summons. Kumar had in the past failed to appear for questioning despite being issued multiple summons.
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.