Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Wednesday alleged that the CBI’s demand for his custodial interrogation in connection with its probe into the Saradha chit fund scam cases was a “political game to keep the pot boiling and to paint people black”.
Opposing the agency’s application seeking permission for Kumar’s custodial interrogation, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that the “targeting” of the senior police officer seems to have started at the behest of some West Bengal BJP leaders.
Singhvi pointed fingers at BJP leaders Kailash Vijayavargiya and Mukul Roy.
In his affidavit filed in the case, Kumar had alleged a “larger conspiracy” between the two leaders to target him.
The senior counsel told the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, that the Supreme Court while handing over the probe in the chit fund scam cases to the CBI in 2014 had lauded the role of the Special Investigation Team of the West Bengal police which was probing it earlier.
The CBI has accused Kumar of not giving it the complete call data records of the accused which the police had received from service providers and sought his custody for questioning. The agency said this amounted to destruction of evidence.
Singhvi denied the charge that Kumar had destroyed evidence and said from 2014 to 2019, the agency had not even filed any FIR under section 201 of IPC for destruction of evidence.
Appearing for the CBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had on Tuesday told the bench that Kumar was evasive when he was questioned recently in Shillong.
Denying this, Singhvi said he was questioned for five days and that he was “never evasive”.
Singhvi also said the names of the kin of former CBI interim Director M Nageswara Rao had figured in the course of some investigation by the state police in the wake of demonetisation and this may also be a reason for the agency to target Kumar.
The arguments remained incomplete and will continue on Thursday.