In a massive setback to Mamata Banerjee, the Supreme Court has vacated the interim protection to former Kolkata top cop Rajeev Kumar. It has given seven days time given to him to try and get interim relief from a competent court. It has directed the CBI to act in accordance with law.
The CBI can arrest and probe him in the Saradha chit fund scam if he is unable to get interim relief in the case.
The investigative agency had told the apex court earlier that it wanted custodial interrogation of Kumar, who was earlier heading West Bengal Police SIT probing chit fund scam, as there was prima facie evidence of his allegedly trying to destroy or tamper with evidence and "shield high and mighty" in the case.
However, Kumar's counsel had countered CBI's submissions and told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the agency wanted his custodial interrogation "just to humiliate" him and CBI should not be allowed to abuse the process of law.
Kumar's counsel had told the bench that CBI's application seeking custodial interrogation of the IPS officer was a "mala fide exercise"
The CBI had claimed in the court that they were seeking vacation of interim protection granted to Kumar as some crucial evidence, collected by the West Bengal Police SIT, was not shared with it despite repeated requests.
Kumar's counsel had argued that the IPS officer was interrogated by the CBI for almost 40 hours and the agency was not able to spell out clearly as to what was the offence committed by him for which they want his custodial interrogation.
Kumar was earlier heading the West Bengal Police's special investigation team (SIT) probing the chit fund scam. The apex court had in May 2014 directed the CBI to investigate the case.
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.
Kumar, involved in a face-off with the CBI in connection with the agency's investigation in Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams, was removed as Additional Director General, CID, in West Bengal for allegedly failing to control the incidents of violence in the state.
During the arguments on CBI's plea, the apex court had said that it would examine whether there was evidence requiring Kumar's custodial interrogation in the case and had also perused the case diary placed before it by the agency.
CBI had claimed in the court that they were seeking vacation of interim protection granted to Kumar as some crucial evidence, collected by the West Bengal Police SIT, was not shared with it despite repeated requests.