A special court in West Bengal’s Barasat Tuesday refused to hear the anticipatory bail plea filed by former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into the Saradha chit-fund case. Special Court Judge Sanjib Talukdar said he does not have the jurisdiction to hear the application, as it was a trial court, reported news agency PTI. The judge directed Kumar to move the Barasat district sessions court for relief.
Kumar, who is currently the Additional Director General of Police in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), was to appear before the CBI by 2 pm Monday for questioning but failed to turn up. The agency visited the state secretariat, Nabanna, in Howrah and handed over two letters to the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary seeking information on the whereabouts of Kumar.
It was the second occasion on which Kumar failed to report for interrogation. He has been on leave since last Tuesday.
Rajeev Kumar’s long tussle with CBI
Currently West Bengal CID’s Additional D-G, Rajeev Kumar led the SIT set up by the state government to probe the Saradha chit fund scam before Supreme Court handed over the case to CBI, along with other chit fund cases, in 2014. On February 4, a CBI team was stopped from entering his residence — Kumar was then the Kolkata Police chief — when they went there to question him. CBI officials were subsequently taken to a local police station. The Supreme Court asked Kumar to appear before the agency and cooperate with the probe, after which Kumar faced the CBI at “neutral” Shillong.
The development comes days after the Calcutta High Court, on September 13, withdrew Kumar’s protection from custodial interrogation. The HC also rejected his plea to quash the CBI notice seeking his appearance for questioning.
“The application filed by the petitioner was turned down by the court. All interim orders passed earlier by this court was vacated. The judge commented during the order that none is above the law,” CBI’s counsel Anirban Mitra said.
Kumar was a member of the special investigation team of Kolkata Police in the Saradha chit fund scam probe. He is accused of tampering with evidence in the case.