The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday served a notice to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, asking him to appear before the agency on Monday for questioning in connection with the Saradha ponzi scheme case. Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, has been asked to be present at the Salt Lake office of the agency.
Four CBI officers landed at Kumar’s residence at Loudon Street around 7.30 pm on Sunday to serve him the notice. As Kumar was not available at his residence, the CBI officers went to the office of DC central, Kolkata Police, at Park Street, 500 m from Kumar’s residence, to officially serve the notice.
The development comes on the same day when the CBI issued a Look-Out Notice against Kumar in connection with its ongoing investigation into the Saradha scam. All the airports and immigration authorities have been alerted to prevent him from leaving the country and intimate the agency about any such move, officials said.
As the state government reinstated Kumar to the post of ADG CID following the withdrawal of Model Code of Conduct, the CBI officers also went to West Bengal CID headquarters, Bhavani Bhavan, to serve another notice.
“We wanted to serve him notice for further investigation into the case but he was untraceable. So a notice was served to the authorities concerned. He has been asked to appear tomorrow (Monday) at the CGO complex in the morning,” a CBI official told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, sources said Kumar is likely to move the Barasat court for anticipatory bail at 10 am on Monday . CBI officials had been trying to get in touch with him on his official number since Friday after Barasat court cancelled his anticipatory bail plea.
The CBI wants custodial interrogation of Kumar in connection with the Saradha scam as he was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the West Bengal police that probed the case before the CBI took over. The Supreme Court had in April asked the CBI to furnish evidence for seeking Kumar’s custodial interrogation.
The apex court on May 17 withdrew the protection given to Kumar from arrest and asked the CBI to proceed as per law. Kumar again approached the Supreme Court on May 20, seeking extension of protection and claiming that courts in West Bengal were not functioning due to lawyers’ strike. This petition was rejected, following which Kumar approached a Kolkata court with an anticipatory bail plea.
In January, the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government had an unprecedented stand-off after a CBI team reached Kumar’s residence to question him. The CBI officers had to retreat after local police refused to let them enter his residence and detained them. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee threw her weight behind Kumar and sat on a three-day dharna to protest against the Centre’s move.
The Supreme Court on February 5 prevented the agency from any coercive action against Kumar and directed him to appear and co-operate in CBI’s questioning at a neutral place. He was questioned by the CBI for nearly five days at its office in Shillong from February 9.