The Supreme Court Tuesday will take up for hearing the CBI’s plea against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The agency has alleged that Kumar is “destroying electronic evidence” in connection with the Saradha chit funds case and he should be directed to “immediately surrender/make himself available” for investigation.
In Kolkata Monday, the West Bengal government sought immediate hearing on the CBI attempt to question Kumar but the Calcutta High Court declined to take it up urgently following objection by the central government counsel and listed the matter for Tuesday.
Centre vs West Bengal: Supreme Court to hear CBI's petition against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar as Mamata continues dharna.
Recap: CBI plea in the Supreme Court
The CBI approached the Supreme Court Monday saying it “apprehends” Kumar is “destroying electronic evidence” and he should be directed to “immediately surrender/make himself available” for investigation.
During the hearing, the bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said it found "nothing" in the plea to substantiate apprehension about destruction of evidence. However, the CJI added, “if you (CBI) can lay down any material… forget that he (police commissioner) is doing, that he is even remotely thinking, we will come down so heavily on him that he will regret it”.
The matter will come up for hearing at 10.30 am this morning. Here's what went down in the Supreme Court on Monday.
Centre vs West Bengal: What to watch out for today
As the drama between the Centre and West Bengal continues to unfold, here is what we're watching out for today.
* The Supreme Court will take up for hearing at 10.30 am the CBI's petition against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar
* The Calcutta High Court will hear the West Bengal government's plea against the CBI's attempt to question Kumar.
* The HC had declined an urgent hearing MondayWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continues to sit on dharna in Kolkata. She has alleged "misuse of police to take control of the police and all other institutions".
SC to take up CBI plea today, Didi continues protest
A day after its move to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on the chit funds scandal in West Bengal led to a standoff with the state government, the CBI approached the Supreme Court Monday, saying it “apprehends” Kumar is “destroying electronic evidence” and he should be directed to “immediately surrender/make himself available” for investigation. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna fixed 10.30 am Tuesday to hear the plea and said it will be open to the parties to produce any evidence to substantiate the CBI fear that anyone in West Bengal, including police, are planning to destroy evidence in the case. Read More Here
Mamata Banerjee joined by Tejashwi and Kanimozhi at protest site
Mamata Banerjee: Dharna will continue till Friday
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav arrives at Mamata Banerjee's dharna venue, expresses solidarity and support. Mamata Banerjee says the dharna will continue till Friday.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and DMK leader Kanimozhi at the protest site in Kolkata. (Express photo by Partha Paul)
Tejashwi Yadav, Kanimozhi arrive in Kolkata to meet Mamata
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and DMK leader Kanimozhi arrive at Kolkata Airport to meet West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien said 22 parties have extended their support to the protest against the Centre. "Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, TDP's N Chandrababu Naidu, RJD's Tejaswi Yadav, DMK's Kanimozhi have expressed their desire to join the protest and are going to Kolkata. Others like Samajwadi Party's leader Kiranmay Nanda have already visited the protest site," said Derek.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and DMK leader Kanimozhi arrive at Kolkata Airport to meet West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. pic.twitter.com/Z47tAUiFt8— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat: CBI action and Mamata's dharna both 'politically motivated'
Even as the CBI-Bengal government imbroglio turned into another event to showcase Opposition unity against the Modi government ahead of the 2019 elections, the CPI(M) took a guarded approach. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said both the CBI's actions and Mamata Banerjee's dharna were "politically motivated". "CPI(M) has been demanding swift punishment to the guilty in the Saradha scam, but for so many years CBI under BJP was in slow motion. Now its actions are clearly politically motivated as is the 'drama dharna' of Mamata Banerjee," she said.
Three-judge SC bench to hear CBI's petition tomorrow
A three-judge Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, will hear CBI’s petition on Tuesday against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar and West Bengal government for alleged non-cooperation in a case connected with ponzi scam.
Trinamool party workers take out protest rallies
Trinamool party workers on Monday took out protest rallies , blocked highways and rail tracks and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in various parts of West Bengal. Senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and ministers also joined the protests as party supporters carrying black flags and wearing black masks raised slogans against the BJP government while marching through the streets. The party's student wing activists staged rallies outside various colleges, reported PTI.
CBI files contempt plea in SC
CBI has filed a contempt plea in the Supreme Court against West Bengal's chief secretary, director general of police and Kolkata Police commissioner for wilful and deliberate violation of apex court's orders.
CBI has filed a contempt plea in the Supreme Court against West Bengal's Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Kolkata Police Commissioner for wilful and deliberate violation of apex court's orders. pic.twitter.com/iA5oHKPLtb— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
Assam Cong accuses CBI of not taking action against Himanta Sarma in Saradha scam
Amid the CBI-Bengal government tussle, Assam Congress on Monday accused the probe agency of not taking action against state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over his alleged involvement in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. "The CBI is yet to take any action against Sarma and investigations against him have stopped after he joined the BJP," PTI quoted Assam Pradesh Congress spokesman Pradyut Bordoloi as saying. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged on Sunday that Sarma was involved with the chit fund scam while he was in Congress.
Mamata Banerjee attends police event, praises state force
In the afternoon, Mamata Banerjee attended a West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police event beside the dharna spot. Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar was also present. Praising the state police force, Banerjee said the cops work in stressful conditions and should be given due respect. "A policeman who has worked for his entire life, if he is not given respect, we will not accept it. Whether its rain or thunder, our policemen perform their duty. Not easy to organise pujas at such a huge scale. Our policemen do it," Banerjee said at the event.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the police event. (Express photo by Shashi Ghosh)
Mamata Banerjee: Ready to give my life but won't compromise
As Mamata Banerjee's dharna against CBI's bid to question Kolkata police chief in chit fund cases entered the second day, the West Bengal chief minister said she was ready to give her life but won't compromise. "I did not take to the streets when you touched TMC leaders. But I am angry when they tried to insult the chair of the Kolkata Police Commissioner, he is leading the organisation," ANI quoted Banerjee as saying. Her reaction comes after BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad asked why a CM was protesting for a police chief while she did nothing when her MPs and leaders like Madan Mitra, Sudip Bandhopadhyay, Kunal Ghosh and Tapas Pal were arrested.
SP leader joins Mamata's dharna, says Modi, Shah are biggest scamsters
Even as Mamata Banerjee continued her dharna, which has now crossed 21 hours, Samajwadi Party national vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda joined her at the protest site near Esplanade in Kolkata. Asserting that the CBI's attempt to question Kolkata Police chief was a 'conspiracy' hatched by the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Nanda said the saffron party was itself ridden with corruption. "The Supreme Court order (asking the CBI to probe the ponzi scam) came in 2014. Now it is 2019. The elections are around the corner... This is a conspiracy. The biggest scamsters are in the BJP -- Amit Shah, Narendra Modi," IANS quoted Nanda as saying.
Kanimozhi lends support to Mamata Banerjee
Anyone who cares for Democracy, Federalism and Constitution must stand with Ms @MamataOfficial.— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) February 4, 2019
மாநில உரிமைகளை காக்க,
அரசியலமைப்பு சட்டத்தை பாதுகாக்க மம்தா பானர்ஜி அவர்களின் போராட்டத்தை ஆதரிப்பது நம் கடமை.
'Why is Centre targeting Bengal Tigress?': Shatrughan Sinha
Sirji, what's happening? Why are we playing with fire through the much maligned, disgraced and condemned govt institutions?— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) February 4, 2019
That too when the elections are around the corner...
By targeting the tried and tested mass leader with impeccable image, ‘Bengal Tigress’ @MamataOfficial
Babul Supriyo demands President's rule in West Bengal
BJP MP from Asansol in West Bengal and Union Minister Babul Supriyo demanded imposition of President's rule in West Bengal as he slammed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accusing her of aligning with those indulging in corruption. Supriyo said Banerjee was doing a "drama" and creating a constitutional crisis to shield her "corrupt and tainted accomplices". "President's Rule should be imposed on West Bengal to control this 'Rogue' #TMchhi Govt under a corrupt CM Mamta Banerjee," he tweeted.
Mamata Banerjee attends Kolkata Police award event with Rajeev Kumar
On dharna, West Bengal Chief Minister attended an event to give out awards to Kolkata Police personnel. Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar, who is under CBI lens regarding missing documents and files of ponzi scam cases, was also in attendance at the event.
BJP says TMC goons have vandalised Bhawanipore party office
Meanwhile, the Bengal unit of the BJP alleged that TMC goons had vandalised the BJP party office in South Kolkata's Bhawanipore and posted a video. Mamata Banerjee represents the Bhawanipore constituency in the state assembly. "Law and order has completely collapsed! No one is safe under TMC," BJP tweeted.
.@mamataofficial’s goons have vandalised the BJP party office in Bhawanipore, South Kolkata. Mamata represents the Bhawanipore constituency.— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) February 4, 2019
Law and order has completely collapsed! No one is safe under TMC. #MamataFreeBengal pic.twitter.com/v28er7Sb80
Not BJP, but Cong had filed plea in SC over Bengal ponzi scams: Ravi Shankar Prasad
In a bid to clear the air over the crisis that has gripped in Bengal, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that it was not the BJP but Congress that had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for an investigation into the chit fund scams. "The SIT, under Rajeev Kumar, to investigate ponzi scams was formed on April 26, 2013, by the Mamata government. It was the Congress that moved the SC, which gave permission to CBI to probe the ponzi cases," Prasad said.
Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi for his U-turn on the issue, Prasad also read out a May 8, 2014 tweet of the Congress leader, where he assailed the Bengal government over Saradha and Rose Valley scams. "Over 20 lakh people lost money in West Bengal chit fund scam. This is condemnable," Prasad quoted Gandhi as saying.
Prasad also questioned why a CM was protesting for a police chief while she did nothing when her MPs and leaders like Madan Mitra, Sudip Bandhopadhyay, Kunal Ghosh and Tapas Pal were arrested. "Then she said nothing but she is sitting on a dharna for just a cop. This clearly indicates that Kumar knows something about the scams and the people involved," he said.
CBI being used as political weapon, says BJD
In continuing support from opposition leaders from across the country for Mamata Banerjee, BJD in Odisha said the CBI was being "used as a political weapon" ahead of the general elections. "Institutional integrity of the CBI has to be restored. We are a mature democracy and professionalism should be maintained," BJD said in a statement. Even in Odisha, sudden action by the CBI had come just before panchayat elections in the past, it said.
Bengal govt files plea in HC against CBI's bid to question police chief
After the Centre moved the Supreme Court on Monday, the West Bengal government filed a petition in the Calcutta High Court against the CBI's attempt to question Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar at his residence in connection with chit fund scam cases. However, the Calcutta High Court refused an immediate hearing and listed the matter on Tuesday. State Advocate General Kishore Dutta submitted that despite a stay by the HC on steps regarding notice to state police officials, the CBI sought to enter Kumar's residence on Sunday and question him.
West Bengal Governor submits report to Home Ministry on prevailing situation
Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has sent a report to the Home Ministry on the prevailing situation in the state in the wake of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's dharna against CBI's attempt to investigate Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had called up Tripathi to take stock of the situation. The governor prepared the report after the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) submitted its findings. The governor also held discussions with state Chief Secretary Malay De.
Mehbooba Mufti calls Mamata Banerjee, expresses solidarity
Former J&K chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti called Mamata Banerjee on Monday and expressed solidarity. "It is unfortunate that institutions like CBI are being misused against the Opposition to settle scores. Previously too, a similar incident happened with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. What is happening in West Bengal is wrong. We support Mamata Banerjee's protest. The way Central institutions are being discredited is a blot on the federal structure of our country. I hope the SC takes a correct stand and stop the misuse of institutions," she said.
Mamata Banerjee: Farmers are being cheated before the elections
During her speech to farmers, Mamata Banerjee said owing to demonetisation, farmers are in deep distress with many having committed suicide or lost their livelihood. "Farmers are being cheated before the elections," she said, referring to the sops announced in the interim Budget. "Our government is the only one in the country which does not acquire farmland and have returned acquired land in Singur," Banerjee said.
TMC supporters at the dharna site. (Express photo by Shashi Ghosh)
Mamata Banerjee: Modi govt has 'snatched' farmers' sleep
Addressing a state conference of farmers from the dharna site over phone, which the participants at the Netaji Indoor Stadium heard over loudspeakers, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Modi government had "snatched" farmers' sleep. She further claimed that nearly 12,000 farmers have committed suicide in the country.
Mamata Banerjee at the dharna site. (Express photo Shashi Ghosh)
Protest against CBI 'non-political', says Mamata
Describing her sit-in over the CBI's attempt to question Kolkata Police chief as a "non-political" protest, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said support has poured in for her from different quarters of the country.
The chief minister, who has been sitting on a dharna since 8.30pm Sunday on a makeshift dais at Metro Channel here, said she will continue her "satyagraha" till the country and its Constitution are "saved".
Addressing her party workers, who raised slogans against Modi near her dais, Banerjee said, "We want a peaceful demonstration. Please do not burn any effigies here."
TMC doesn't believe in democracy: Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman: In the interest of wanting free and fair environment in which Lok Sabha polls can be conducted, we have come to bring to the notice of EC certain happenings in West Bengal which has complete cooperation of the TMC.Instances we highlighted point out that TMC doesn't believe in democracy
BJP delegation meets EC
BJP delegation including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi & Bhupendra Yadav met Election Commission today to discuss the CBI's showdown with the West Bengal government Sunday evening.
Additional Director Intelligence Bureau meets West Bengal Governor amid showdown
Additional Director Intelligence Bureau (SIB) West Bengal Manoj Lal, has met West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at Raj Bhawan, reports ANI.
Mamata vs centre: Key developments
CBI team lands at Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence. Kolkata Police detain some members of the CBI team after a scuffle and, later on, surround their office. Central forces deployed outside CBI office. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after meeting Kumar, sits on an indefinite dharna in protest against the Centre. These were the sequence of bizarre events that played out on Sunday evening in Kolkata.
Police Commissioner didn't appear despite summons: Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the CBI action in Saradha chit fund case in West Bengal yesterday: The action was taken after SC had ordered an investigation into Saradha chit fund case . The Police Commissioner was summoned many times but he did not appear.
Corrupt standing together: Javedakar on Oppn support to Mamata
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar: Opposition parties have supported Mamata Banerjee. Who are these people? They are out on bail. Such people are standing together. This is not Mahagathbandhan, they are divided by vision and united by corruption. The corrupt are standing together.
What is she trying to hide by staging dharna: Prakash Javedakar slams Mamata
Prakash Javadekar: "Whatever is happening in Kolkata is one of a kind. Never before was an investigating team taken into custody by police. It's murder of democracy. We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she staging dharna, who does she want to shield? Police Commissioner or herself?"
Home Ministry seeks report from Mamata govt
Home Ministry seeks report from Mamata government on the role of IPS officers on allegations of obstructing investigation and violation of Service Conduct Rules in yesterday's episode in Kolkata.
Home Ministry seeks report from @MamataOfficial govt on the role of IPS officers on allegations of obstructing investigation and violation of Service Conduct Rules in yesterday's episode in Kolkata. @IndianExpress #CBIvsMamata— rahul tripathi (@rahultripathi) February 4, 2019
TMC members raise CBI vs Mamata issue in Lok Sabha
TMC members raised slogans against the government in the Lok Sabha today, demanding that CBI vs Mamata issue be discussed in the House.
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Country in danger, becoming dictatorial: NC's Farooq Abdullah
Farooq Abdullah, National Conference on CBI issue in West Bengal: Her (Mamata Banerjee) allegation is right. This country is in danger as its becoming dictatorial. They (Central govt) are not masters of this country, people are.
MHA sources: Rajnath Singh calls up West Bengal governor amid showdown
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up Governor of West Bengal Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi to be apprised of the facts of the unprecedented situation of officers of a Central Investigating Agency being allegedly manhandled, detained, intimidated and obstructed, MHA sources said. The Governor apprised Union Home Minister that he had summoned Chief Secretary and Director General of Police and asked them to take immediate action to resolve the situation.