New Delhi: Anticipating an imminent arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar approached the Supreme Court on Monday seeking an extension of the seven-day protection granted by the apex court in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case.
On Friday, the top court vacated its order granting protection from arrest to former Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam case. The apex court had, however, said that its 5 February order granting interim protection to Kumar will continue for seven days from Friday.
The SC had also allowed Kumar to seek bail from a competent court. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also directed the CBI to follow the law of land in this case.
In his plea on Monday, Kumar cited a strike of lawyers in West Bengal as the main reason for seeking an extension.
Since the order on Friday was passed by a three-judge bench, it cannot be modified by two-judge vacation bench hence the SC on Monday directed Kumar to approach the secretary-general.
The CBI, in its plea filed in April, had sought permission for custodial interrogation of Kumar, who earlier headed the West Bengal police special investigation team (SIT) probing the chit fund scam, over his alleged role in destroying evidence in the case.
The probe agency had alleged that there was prima facie evidence against Kumar of trying to "destroy or tamper with evidence and shield high and mighty" in the case. The agency had pleaded for withdrawal of the February 5 stay order. The CBI also claimed Kumar failed to disclose crucial information he was privy to.
On 3 February, a CBI team was detained by Kolkata Police when it reached Kumar's residence to question him. It was followed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to the officer's home. The CBI officers were taken to a police station and later released.
The Saradha group scam erupted in 2013 when investors demonstrated in front of the Trinamool Congress office demanding the government take action against the group’s officials for defaulting on payments. In April 2013, the chairman of the group that ran the “ponzi scheme", Sudipta Sen and the company’s executive director Debjani Mukherjee, were arrested from Jammu & Kashmir after a few days’ of chase.