In a major development in the Saradha Chit Fund scam case, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. Announcing its verdict, the Calcutta HC said that his involvement in the case is not such that judicial custody will be required. The Court, last month had withdrew its order that provided relief to the former top cop of Kolkata from CBI arrests. Since the day the Calcutta HC withdrew the order, Rajeev Kumar went untraceable, and his office said that he is on leave. While the CBI went on a spree to trace his location, he filed an anticipatory bail plea.
The top-cop first filed anticipatory bail petition in the Barasat District Sessions Court. The Court said that the case is not under their jurisdiction, and asked Kumar to move to Alipore District Court. The Alipore Sessions Court, however, rejected the bail application. The former top-cop then appealed to the Calcutta HC. Meanwhile, he wrote to the CBI saying that his leave has been extended till September 30. Earlier, Rajeev Kumar's lawyer said that he will be available to face questioning by the CBI after September 25.
The former Kolkata Police Commissioner, who is currently the Additional Director General in the West Bengal CID, was heading the SIT formed by WB Government to probe the Saradha Chit fund case previously. When the case was handed over to the CBI, the agency stated that Kumar was being allegedly evasive about missing pieces of evidence in relation to the probe and was allegedly trying to shield few politicians. Following this charge, in February 2019, a team of CBI officials arrived at Rajeev Kumar's residence to arrest him. While attempting to arrest the former top cop, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staged a dharna opposing the arrest of the Police Commissioner by the CBI, citing a violation of the Constitution.
Saradha Chit fund scam is related to a Ponzi scheme set up by Saradha Group led by businessman Sudipto Sen in the early 2000s. A few years later, a large sum of money was raised by the Saradha group. In 2009, the fraudulent ways by which the company raised money started exploding. With the SEBI's actions, the scheme collapsed by 2013 and the owner fled writing a letter that accused several politicians of making poor investments. Many Trinamool MPs are speculated to be a part of the scam.