February 5, 2019
New Delhi : Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar cannot be arrested but he has to appear before the CBI in Shillong, make available all evidence and cooperate with investigations into chit fund scams in Bengal, the Supreme Court said today as the CBI accused the officer of “doctoring evidence” and shielding the accused.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the Supreme Court order a “victory of democracy”.
The Kolkata police chief is at the heart of a huge showdown between the CBI and Mamata Banerjee, who is on Day 3 of her indefinite protest sit-in provoked by a CBI team door-stepping Rajeev Kumar on Sunday evening to question him on “missing evidence” in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund cases. Several members of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress have been arrested in the cases, which were probed by a Special Investigation Team led by Rajeev Kumar.
The CBI told the Supreme Court that Rajeev Kumar’s investigation “shielded guilty companies” and there was “inaction, selective action and a nexus” between the police and the accused companies. The evidence handed over by the team “is not complete and it was doctored”, the CBI added in its affidavit listing allegations against the Kolkata police chief.
The CBI went to the Supreme Court on Monday, after its team that arrived at Rajeev Kumar’s Kolkata home was blocked by the police, bundled into buses and detained for a few hours. The dramatic developments on Sunday evening led to Mamata Banerjee launching an indefinite sit-in to protest against the CBI’s action against her police chief, calling it a “constitutional breakdown”.
The CBI told the court today that call data records given to the CBI by the Special Investigation Team were not complete and less calls were shown in the data. “The SIT gave us doctored copies of call records,” said the CBI’s lawyer.
Yesterday, the government called Rajeev Kumar a “potential accused” in court.
The CBI wanted to question the police chief on missing documents, it said, but he had not responded to repeated summons over the past two years; he had also skipped an Election Commission meeting on poll preparations, spurring talk that he was”absconding”.
The CBI has said in its affidavit that the SIT “used to shield selective companies such as Saradha, Rose Valley and Tower Group, which had given huge contributions to the party in power (Trinamool Congress) in West Bengal”.