New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the plea of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam. In the petition, Rajeev Kumar had sought an extension of protection from arrest by CBI till the concerned jurisdictional court in West Bengal decides his anticipatory bail plea. Earlier, the apex court had granted a period of seven days, protecting Rajeev Kumar from arrest. The deadline of the granted protection ends on Friday, i.e., May 24.
The bench told Kumar’s counsel that a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had already passed an order in the matter. In fact, on May 17, a three-judge bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar by its February 5 order. However, the court had said his protection would continue for seven days from May 17 to enable him to approach the competent court for relief.
On May 20, Kumar had moved the apex court seeking an extension of the seven-day protection granted in view of lawyers’ strike in Kolkata. However, the court had said since the May 17 order was passed by a three-judge bench, Kumar’s counsel can approach the apex court registry or the secretary general for a listing of the matter before an appropriate bench.
In its May 17 order, the top court had also expressed concern over the confrontation between the CBI and the West Bengal Police in the case, saying “at the receiving end are silently waiting for lakhs of small town and rural investors who have been deprived and looted of their savings”.
The court also noted that the West Bengal government and Kumar have alleged “political vendetta” and have made allegations against M Nageswara Rao, a former interim CBI director.
Earlier, Kumar in an affidavit before the court had alleged that he was targeted by the CBI in the chit fund case due to “mala fide intent” and “conflict of interest” of Rao as his family members were under the scanner post-demonetisation.
(With agency inputs)