The Supreme Court will hear on Monday an appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar by the Calcutta High Court in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. 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. Saradha Chit fund scam is related to a Ponzi scheme set up by Saradha Group led by businessman Sudipto Sen in the early 2000s. 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.
According to the website of the Supreme Court, a bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, will hear the CBI's appeal on November 25. Kumar was granted interim protection from arrest by the Calcutta High Court on October 1. Challenging the Calcutta High Court's order, the investigating agency had moved the apex court seeking cancellation of bail granted to Kumar. The 1989-batch IPS officer is accused of destroying evidence related to the Saradha chit fund (Ponzi) scam when he headed the special investigation team of the West Bengal Police to probe the matter before it was transferred to the CBI. The former Kolkata top cop is presently posted as Additional Director of the Crime Investigation Department (CID). The Saradha Group of companies had allegedly duped people to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore promising higher rates of return on their investments.
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.
(With Inputs from ANI)