Mamata vs Centre HIGHLIGHTS: Bengal CM calls off dharna, says it’s a victory for Constitutionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/mamata-banerjee-vs-centre-live-updates-cbi-rajeev-kumar-kolkata-police-supreme-court-5569434/

Mamata vs Centre HIGHLIGHTS: Bengal CM calls off dharna, says it’s a victory for Constitution

CBI vs Kolkata Police face off HIGHLIGHTS, Mamata Banerjee Dharna in Kolkata: Supreme Court issues notice to West Bengal govt, tells CBI it can't arrest Rajeev Kumar. Follow latest news below.

West Bengal vs Mamata: CBI case against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in Supreme Court today
Mamata Banerjee vs Centre HIGHLIGHTS: The West Bengal Chief Minister with Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

CBI vs Kolkata Police HIGHLIGHTS: The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal got a major relief from the Supreme Court Tuesday as the top court restrained the CBI from taking coercive steps against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, including arresting him. The court, however, issued notice to the West Bengal government on the CBI’s petition.

The central agency has accused Kumar of “non-cooperation” in its investigation in the Saradha chit funds case and alleged he “destroyed, destructed and tampered with the material primary evidence” while handing over the same to the agency. A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi will hear the matter again on February 20.

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court Tuesday, the CBI accused Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar of “conniving with the accused/potential accused persons” and was “actively subverting the investigation process”. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, welcomed the verdict and said it was a victory of the people.

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Centre vs West Bengal: Supreme Court verdict on CBI's petition against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar. Follow live updates in Bangla 

Mamata Banerjee calls off dharna, calls it as victory of democracy

Mamata Banerjee called off the dharna today and termed it as a victory for the Constitution and democracy. She further intends to take up the issue next week in Delhi. The West Bengal chief minister asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign instead and return to Gujarat where she believes is a "One man govt, one party government". 

"This dharna (Save the Constitution) is victory for the Constitution and democracy, so, let us end it today. The Court gave a positive judgement today. PM you resign from Delhi and go back to Gujarat. One man govt, one party government is there," said Mamata Banerjee as quoted by ANI.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, present at the occasion, vouched to continue till NDA put a stop to the "harassment". "NDA government wants to divide India, we want to unite India. We will not stop here, we will continue till they stop this harassment," said Naidu, ANI quoted as saying. 

Former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav slams BJP

Chandrababu Naidu meets Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu meets Mamata Banerjee at the stage where she has been sitting on 'Save the Constitution' dharna. Naidu says he supports Banerjee's protest and attacks Modi government.

Naidu called Mamata Banerjee as the "architect" of the federal front and claimed that she would win all 42 seats in West Bengal. "She (Mamata Banerjee) is the architect of the federal front. She is the main pillar of the opposition. She will win all the 42 seats in West Bengal and will be in a decision making position at the national level," PTI quoted Naidu as saying.

Naidu in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Express photo)

Nothing more shameful for democracy than a CM sitting on dharna: Yogi Adityanath

On reaching Purulia, Yogi Adityanath took pot shots at West Bengal chief minister and said, "Nothing can be more shameful for a democracy than a Chief Minister sitting on a dharna." During his speech, Uttar Pradesh chief minister also promised to rid the state of TMC's goons and claimed that Bengal should be the land of BJP. "Development is not Mamata Banerjee's priority and we shall throw the state's corrupt government out," said Adityanath.

Due to 'undemocratic' activities, 'sanyasi' like me not allowed in WB: Yogi Adityanath

On his way to Purulia, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said due to "undemocratic and unconstitutional activities" in the state, a "sanyasi" like himself was being denied permission to visit Bengal, ANI quoted as saying. 

"This (West Bengal) government is embroiled in undemocratic and unconstitutional activities and that is the reason why a 'sanyasi' and 'yogi' like me is not being allowed to step on the soil of Bengal," said Adityanath.

Had agreement with chopper company, they backed out on Feb 1: Mamata Banerjee

On CM Adityanath's chopper being denied permission to land in West Bengal, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee clarified that an agreement was signed with a helicopter company on January 15, however, the company backed out and informed on February 1 that choppers would not be provided, ANI quoted as saying. 

"I won't take names, we had got into an agreement with a helicopter company. We had done advance booking, agreement was signed on Jan 15. It is sad that they informed us on Feb 1 that they will not provide us the helicopters, they backed out," said Banerjee.

MHA directs Bengal govt to start disciplinary action against state top cop

Home Ministry directs West Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for violation of all India service rules.

CM Banerjee's political histrionics brought down by SC: Smriti Irani

Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani said Mamata Banerjee's political histrionics have been brought to a screeching halt by the Supreme Court, quoted as saying by PTI.  Irani pointed out to the "lawlesness" in West Bengal and terming CM Banerjee an "anarchist", she said Banerjee "intervened in the process of collection of evidence by officers, upon whose instructions officers were heckled, manhandled and detained, their families harassed, their homes surrounded," as ANI reported.

TMC, BJP hand in gloves in sharing spoils of ponzi scam: Yechury

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Supreme Court order showed both the BJP and the TMC its place and that the two parties were hand in gloves in "sharing the spoils" of the chit fund scam. Yechury said he did not find anything wrong in the way the CBI had embarked on the investigation into the scam in Kolkata. "In this instance when the judiciary orders the CBI to investigate a case, the CBI's movement in the investigation into any state or territory cannot be construed as an attack on the authority or the powers of the state government," he told reporters.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for second day in a row

Rajya Sabha proceedings were washed out for the second day in a row on Tuesday amid protests by Opposition parties, including TMC, SP and Congress, over alleged misuse of the CBI in West Bengal. As soon as the House resumed proceedings in the afternoon, members of the TMC, SP and Congress trooped into the well, raising slogans like "Save Constitution, Save Nation".

Shahnawaz Hussain denied permission for Murshidabad rally

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain has been denied permission to hold a rally in Murshidabad in West Bengal. 

Ask Yogi to take care of Uttar Pradesh first: Mamata Banerjee

Even as uncertainty prevailed over Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Purulia rally in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee fired a salvo at the BJP leader, asking him to take care of matters related to his state first. “Ask Yogi to take care of Uttar Pradesh first. So many people have been killed, even police were murdered, so many people were lynched, he himself will lose if he contests elections. He doesn’t have a place to stand in UP that’s why he’s roaming around in Bengal,” she said. READ FULL STORY HERE

Mamata Banerjee at the protest site in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Express photo)

Express Cartoon on CBI vs West Bengal

This is E P Unny's cartoon in The Indian Express today. For more cartoons, click here.

 

Who is Mamata Ji scared of: Former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Former Madhya Pradesh chief mister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is set to address a public gathering in West Bengal, said the Constitution permits all political parties to present their stand before the public. "Who is Mamata Ji scared of? I have a rally in Berhampore tomorrow but I have been informed that the permission for my chopper's landing&rally's venue has not been given.," he added. (ANI)

CBI vs West Bengal: Himanta Biswa Sharma calls Mamata's campaign against him 'frivolous'

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has called the campaign against him by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee "frivolous and baseless", adding that he is not "fortunate enough like your police commissioner". The minister had been summoned by the CBI and his home raided as part of its investigation in the Saradha scam. However, he was not named in any chargesheet. Both Roy and Sarma joined the BJP during the probe.

Read: CBI pressure eased off on two in Saradha after they joined BJP

Moral victory for CBI: Ravi Shankar Prasad on SC order on Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called the SC order a "moral victory for CBI." Asking Opposition not to "politicise" the issue, Shankar said: " Today we've to ask larger questions on behalf of the party. Lakhs of small investors were cheated. Is it not our moral obligation for an investigation? Why is Mamata ji silent on this? Why are the other political parties silent on this? This order was given by SC to investigate the conspiracy angle & also money laundering angle. This investigation must be done in a fair manner. Let's not politicise it."

Centre vs Mamata | Fight against govt's attempt to discredit autonomous bodies, says Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Centre of "settling scores with the opposition after interfering in autonomous bodies." Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Kharge said: "We are fighting against those elements. It is not about an individual, an officer or a party, we are fighting against govt's attempt to discredit autonomous bodies," reported ANI.

Centre vs West Bengal | Mamata calls SC order 'victory of Opposition'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her stand is “vindicated” after the Supreme Court’s order on Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar. She added that it was a "victory of our forces, our democracy and our Constitution" and "a victory of the Opposition”. Mamata added: “The government is trying to arrest everyone. They are putting everyone in jail. We will continue to fight against this and the Opposition is united on this. We thank the Opposition parties which have supported us and stood by us.” Read full report here.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her dharna in Kolkata on Tuesday (Express Photo: Shashi Ghosh)

Saradha chit fund probe: SC prevents Kumar's arrest, issues notice to Bengal govt

Here's a recap of what just happened in the Supreme Court: The apex court has prevented the arrest of Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar, but asked him to cooperate with the CBI's investigation in a "neutral" place — Shillong. The SC has also sought response from the West Bengal Chief Secretary, DGP and Kumar by February 18. The case will be taken up on February 20.

In court, Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, said that developments in the state showed “total breakdown of constitutional machinery”.

In Parliament, TMC MPs cheer SC order on CBI plea against Rajeev Kumar

Trinamool Congress MPs in Parliament rejoiced when the CBI verdict came in this morning. 

SC order on CBI police chief: Mamata welcomes verdict

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has welcomed the SC order on Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar. Saying it is a "victory of the people", Mamata said our stand has been vindicated.

Centre vs West Bengal: SC issues notice on CBI plea

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the West Bengal government on the CBI's petition alleging that its officers were mistreated by the Kolkata police. It has also directed Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI at a “neutral place” — in Shillong.

Mamata vs Centre: Calcutta HC adjourns hearing

As the Supreme Court is hearing a petition by the CBI against Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar, the Calcutta High Court has adjourned hearing in the case till Thursday. It said the Supreme Court is seized of the matter, reports PTI.

CBI files affidavit against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar

The CBI has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging that Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar of “non-cooperation” in its investigation in the Saradha chit funds case and said he “destroyed, destructed and tampered with the material primary evidence” while handing over the same to the agency. Kumar headed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the case, which was handed over to the CBI on direction from the Supreme Court. The CBI has said Kumar was “conniving with the accused/potential accused persons” and was “actively subverting the investigation process”.

West Bengal vs Centre: Mamata continues dharna on Tuesday

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continues her protest in Kolkata following the CBI's attempt to interrogate Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. (Express Photo: Shashi Ghosh)

In pictures | West Bengal CM holds dharna in Kolkata

Explained: What is the Saradha scam?

The Indian Express explains: The Saradha Group was set up by businessman Sudipto Sen in the early 2000s. It used a consortium of companies to tap small investors, promising them very high returns. Like in a classic Ponzi scheme, money was collected through a wide network of agents, who were paid commissions of over 25%.

In a few years, Saradha’s raised about Rs 2,500 crore. After the scheme collapsed in 2013, Mamata set up a SIT to probe the case — headed by Rajeev Kumar — while the CBI and ED conducted their own investigations. In May 2014, the Supreme Court transferred all cases to the CBI, given the inter-state nature of the alleged scam.

How are Trinamool Congress and the Kolkata police chief connected? Read The Saradha Story here

Express Editorial on Centre vs Mamata: The spectacle

An editorial in The Indian Express reads: The BJP government at the Centre must know that both the manner and timing of the CBI action in West Bengal reek of a politics of vendetta against a political opponent. In the longer term, the Kolkata vaudeville carries troubling consequences in a constitutional democracy. In its visible undermining of due process, it threatens to deepen distrust and strengthen cynicism. 

Read the full editorial, titled 'The spectacle'.

Centre vs West Bengal | Arun Jaitley targets Mamata, Opposition in new blog

Union minister Arun Jaitley, in a new blog post on Facebook, has slammed Mamata Banerjee for her "disproportionate over-reaction to the CBI" wanting to interrogate the Kolkata police commissioner.

He has also targeted leaders of the Opposition, saying most of them, or their affiliates are today being investigated, prosecuted and in some cases have also been convicted for crimes of corruption.

Calling them the "new Kleptocrat’s Club", Jaitley says, "Mamata Banerjee’s latest acrobatics are the best evidence of the kind of governance India’s opposition can provide."

Recap: CBI plea in the Supreme Court on Monday

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".

West Bengal vs Mamata: CBI case against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in Supreme Court today

Mamata Banerjee vs Centre LIVE Updates: Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar with CM Mamata Banerjee. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

A series of events on Sunday led to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's indefinite dharna in Kolkata. A CBI team landed up at Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar's residence on Sunday evening in connection with the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams. However, some members of the team were taken into custody by the Kolkata Police, following a scuffle.

In protest of the Centre's "misuse of police to take control of the police and all other institutions", Mamata began an indefinite strike. Several Opposition leaders came out in support of Mamata's strike, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi. AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, DMK's MK Stalin, among others.

The BJP maintained that it was the Congress that had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for an investigation into the chit fund scams. "We took oath on May 26,2014 so all these inquiries in Narada, Saradha scams started before us," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

West Bengal vs Mamata: CBI case against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in Supreme Court today

The CBI, meanwhile, moved 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. Rajeev Kumar is a 1989 batch IPS officer of West Bengal and is currently the Kolkata Police Commissioner. He was appointed as Kolkata Commissioner in the year 2016 in place of Surajit Kar Purakayastha, who was promoted to the CID department.

Also read | The importance of being IPS officer Rajeev Kumar — for either side

Kumar is now seen as close to the TMC dispensation. Sources told The Indian Express that the state BJP unit has been pressing the party leadership in Delhi to put pressure on a section of IPS officers seen as close to Banerjee before the Lok Sabha polls, and Kumar heads the list.

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