The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file an affidavit, providing details about the alleged contempt committed by the officials of West Bengal Police and former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar who are allegedly trying to interfere with the probe into the Saradha scam.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla to provide information in support of tampering and destruction of call data records by Kumar, who was then heading the state’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) while probing the case.
The apex court said the allegations made by the CBI were serious enough and it was the obligation on part of the agency to disclose full details of the alleged contempt committed by the then police commissioner.
Asking the investigating agency to file the report within two weeks, the apex court posted the matter for March 26.
The agency had moved the top court after developments in Kolkata on February 3, when its team probing the scam was allegedly held hostage when the officials went to question Kumar. In an affidavit submitted on Tuesday, the CBI alleged that in 2009, the Centre had warned West Bengal about the possibility of chit fund companies duping people but the state government took no action and “allowed” it to continue.
The agency also pointed to a “larger conspiracy” behind the scam, and referred to two instances to buttress its claim: first, Rs 6.21 crore given to a TV channel that is part of the Saradha Group, which is facing heat in the case; and the sale of West Bengal Chief Minister’s paintings amounting to Rs 6.5 crores by a newspaper run by the TMC.
The affidavit does not name the Chief Minister, but it is ostensibly a reference to Mamata Banerjee.