In a major setback to the former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, the Calcutta High Court on Friday has withdrawn its order granting him protection from arrest in the Saradha chit fund scam. Even as the former Kolkata Commissioner of Police appealed to the court to quash the CBI notice seeking his appearance, the Court has said that the notice cannot be 'mala fide'. Soon after the Court's decision, CBI teams went to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Division, which also includes the residence of former Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The CBI then served notice to Rajeev Kumar to appear for questioning on Saturday.
Earlier in February this year, there was an unprecedented face-off in West Bengal between CM Mamata Banerjee and the CBI. The Kolkata Police had issued a strong statement dismissing claims that its commissioner of police Rajeev Kumar had gone 'missing' in light of the CBI seeking to probe him in connection with the Saradha scam, which Kumar had investigated as the head of the SIT till the Supreme Court handed the case to the CBI. Alongside the Kolkata Police, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also issued a statement backing Rajeev Kumar in the strongest possible terms, calling him the "best in the world."
The CBI team reached the residence of Rajeev Kumar in the evening when they were stopped from entering by the Kolkata police security which inquired whether they had a warrant. At this point, a part of the team headed to the Shakespeare Sarani Police station, which has jurisdiction over the area of the Kolkata CP's residence, even as more police personnel arrived. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made her way to the epicenter of the flashpoint, just as the CBI team was detained and taken to the Shakespeare Sarani Police station. Upon her arrival, a quick meeting was held at Rajeev Kumar's residence, even as a number of political leaders began to wade into the burgeoning controversy, with the Opposition expressing its support for Mamata Banerjee. Senior Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien called it an attempt at a 'constitutional coup'.
Mamata Banerjee had addressed the media outside Rajeev Kumar's residence, even as top CBI sources said to Republic TV that the officers did have a warrant and also revealed that they suspected that documents were being destroyed in the commissioner's office and residence. At this point, as per sources, the CBI was considering approaching the Governor of the state. In her address, Mamata Banerjee had launched a scathing attack at the Modi government, alleging that this was being done with the elections in mind. She denied that there was any wrongdoing by her government in the Saradha scam, putting forth that it was her government that had initiated a probe in the matter and had ensured that money was returned to the people who had been scammed. She then announced that she would be sitting on a Dharna immediately against the events of the night, but an even bigger reveal was Rajeev Kumar then appearing from his residence and then promptly returning inside.