New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and fully co-operate with the probe agency investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam. The apex court, while hearing the CBI’s plea, also made it clear that no coercive steps including arrest can be taken against him (Rajeev Kumar) for now. The apex court also stated that Kumar will appear before the CBI for investigation at Shillong in Meghalaya.
Welcoming the top court’s decision TMC Supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that this verdict will strengthen the moral of officers. “It’s a moral victory. We have great respect for judiciary and all institutions. We are so grateful. We’re so obliged.”
“Every federal state is an elected government, centre and state have their jurisdictions. We will never interfere if centre machinery comes to arrest state machinery (officials). It is a constitutional breakdown,” Banerjee added.
The TMC supremo further claimed that Rajeev Kumar never said he’ll not be available. “He said we want to meet at mutual place, if you want to ask for any clarification, you can come and we can sit,” she asserted.
“But what they started doing? They wanted to arrest him. They went to his house, on a secret operation, on Sunday, without any notice. That court said ‘no arrest’. It will strengthen the morale of the officers,” Banerjee stated.
What Happened in SC
The apex court directed Rajeev Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and “faithfully cooperate” in the Saradha scam probe.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi issued a notice to Kumar and sought his response before February 20, the next date of hearing on the allegations by the CBI that he was tampering with electronic evidence and that the SIT headed by him provided the agency with doctored materials.
“CJI bench ordered that Rajeev Kumar would make himself available in the light of prayer of the application of CBI to join the investigation, make himself available and cooperate fully. The SC pointed out that no coercive steps would be taken,” senior lawyer and BJP leader Nalin Kohli informed reporters.
He added,”It has also been made clear by SC in its order that personal appearance, after filing of replies, of concerned officers may be required and it’ll be communicated by Secy General of SC on 19 Feb, if such appearance is required on 20.”
Meanwhile, Abhishek Manu Singhvi who appeared for West Bengal government in the apex court claimed,”It’s an attempt to humiliate and score point.What’s the great urgency? For 5 years there was no FIR. There is not a single FIR against Rajeev Kumar under 201 (Destruction of evidence) of the IPC.”