KOLKATA: The Supreme Court has reserved its order on a plea of the CBI seeking custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The agency has claimed there was prima facie evidence that the former top cop had tried to destroy or tamper with evidence and “shield high and mighty” in the Saradha chit fund case. The agency has accused Kumar of not giving it the complete call data records of the accused, which, it claimed, the police had received from service providers and sought his custody for questioning in this regard.
The CBI has accused Kumar of not giving it the complete call data records of the accused, which, it claimed, the police had received from service providers and sought his custody for questioning in this regard. Meanwhile, Kumar alleged that the CBI's demand for his custodial interrogation was a “political game to keep the pot boiling and to paint people black.” Opposing the agency's application, 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.
Kumar was earlier heading the West Bengal Police' special investigation team (SIT) probing the chit fund scam. The apex court had in May 2014 directed the CBI to investigate the case. Meanwhile, the SC has asked the CBI to furnish evidence for seeking custodial interrogation of firmer Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in Saradha chit fund case, saying it has to be satisfied that the agency's request was “bonafide” and not for “political purposes”. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said CBI has to place material which can “even very remotely” show that Kumar, who was earlier heading West Bengal Police SIT probing the chit fund scam, has something to do with either destruction or disappearance of evidence related to the case.
The bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said, “We have to be satisfied that you (CBI) are seeking this (custodial interrogation of Kumar) in bonafide interest of justice and not for political purposes.” It said that it will take up the matter for further hearing. It told Mehta, “All you have to show us is that this man (Kumar) has something to do, even very remotely, with disappearance or destruction of evidence.” Mehta told the court that custodial interrogation of Kumar was necessary as he was not cooperating in the probe and he was “evasive” and “arrogant” in answering the queries put to him during his questioning by the CBI.