Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who was summoned by the CBI for questioning in connection with the Saradha chit fund case, did not appear before the agency on Monday. The West Bengal CID has informed the CBI that Kumar is in Varanasi on leave for seven days.
CBI sources said they received a letter in this regard and informed the authorities in Delhi. However, they have not revealed if they would wait for Kumar to return.
CID DSP Madhusudan Ghosh and Inspector Abhijit Mukhopadhyay met CBI officials in Kolkata on Monday afternoon to respond to the notice summoning Kumar. The former Kolkata police commissioner has sought time till June 3 to appear before the agency.
“He is in Varanasi on a seven-day leave. CBI officials have been informed about the same,” a CID source told said. The 1989-batch IPS officer is accused of tampering with evidence related to the Saradha scam. On Sunday, a lookout notice was issued against him and all airports and immigration authorities were directed to prevent him from leaving the country. Meanwhile, the state government reinstated Kumar as ADG, CID after the Model Code of Conduct was withdrawn.
According to sources, CBI officials are trying to track Kumar’s whereabouts. They also said that since Kumar no longer has any protection against arrest, they will proceed as per the law.
“Now that he has evaded summons, we will legally want him in custody to interrogate the larger conspiracy,” said a CBI source.
CBI officials alleged that Kumar allowed the release of mobile phones and laptops that contained crucial records of the alleged involvement of influential people in Saradha scam when he was in charge of the SIT probing the matter.
On Sunday, a team of CBI officials visited three premises in search of Kumar.
They also served a notice at the CID headquarters, asking him to appear before them on Monday.
On Friday, Kumar moved a court in Barasat for anticipatory bail but the petition was rejected over “procedural lapses”. But he was given the liberty to file a fresh petition without mistakes. The Supreme Court had earlier granted him protection from arrest for seven days, which ended on May 24.
On Friday, after a lower court cancelled his plea, the CBI claimed that they made several attempts to get in touch with Kumar to call him for interrogation but they failed. Following this, a four-member team went to his residence and office on Sunday to serve him summons.