Saradha scam: SC vacates order granting protection from arrest to ex-Kolkata police commissioner

Updated: May 17, 2019, 13:00 IST | mid-day online desk

One of the advocates who appeared for Kumar said that as per the apex court order, Kumar cannot be arrested in the next seven days

Saradha scam: SC vacates order granting protection from arrest to ex-Kolkata police commissioner
Pic/Youtube

The Supreme Court on Friday vacated its order granting protection from arrest to former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam case.

The apex court said its February 5 order granting interim protection to Kumar will continue for seven days from Friday to enable him to approach the competent court for legal remedy.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the CBI to act in accordance with the law in the case.

One of the advocates who appeared for Kumar said that as per the apex court order, Kumar cannot be arrested in the next seven days.

"We have withdrawn the protection given to Rajeev Kumar vide order dated February 5," the court said while pronouncing the order.

The judgment was pronounced by Justice Sanjiv Khanna who was part of the bench headed by the CJI and Justice Deepak Gupta.

Pronouncing the operative part of the order, Justice Khanna said, "We are leaving it to the CBI to act in accordance with the law."

"Our February 5 order will continue for seven days from today to enable Rajeev Kumar to approach the competent court for relief," he said.

At the outset, Justice Khanna, while pronouncing the order, said, "We have expressed our concern as to what has happened in the matter."

The apex court on February 5 had granted protection from arrest to Kumar while directing him to appear before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate into the investigation of cases arising out of the scam.

Background: 

CBI had filed the plea seeking direction to withdraw its February 5 order granting protection to Rajeev Kumar from the arrest.

The investigative agency had argued that Kumar's custodial interrogation was required to probe the larger conspiracy and Kumar and other police officials' role in causing disappearance and destruction of evidence in the case.

CBI had also said the arrest and custodial interrogation of Rajeev Kumar was required to unravel the conspiracy, nexus between directors of Saradha Group and politicians.

The CBI had said that Rajeev Kumar, who earlier appeared before CBI officials for questioning in Shillong as per the Supreme Court order, remained elusive and evaded all pertinent questions and also did not assist the CBI in making available crucial evidence in the chit fund cases. Kumar has not disclosed any crucial information he was privy to.

An unprecedented chain of events unfolded on February 3 when a CBI team was detained by Kolkata Police when it reached Kumar's residence to question him. Not much later, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to the officer's home. The CBI officers were taken to a police station and were later released. 

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies

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