The Supreme Court today postponed for two weeks the hearing into CBI’s contempt plea against former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar and others alleging their non-cooperation in his investigation into the case of multi-crore-rupee scam Saradha chit fund.
The CBI, tasked with investigating the West Bengal Ponzi scheme cases by the highest court, filed the contempt plea on February 4, 2019 against Rajeev Kumar, former chief secretary Malay Kumar De and the DGP of the Virendra state, claiming he was not getting their cooperation. the current probe.
The agency also requested that the bail granted to Mr. Kumar and his interrogation in custody be quashed because he was “evasive during questioning”.
A bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna postponed the hearing for two weeks as it conducted a final hearing in the case relating to the liquidation of six Franklin Templeton mutual fund plans.
During a brief hearing, senior lawyer AM Singhvi, appearing for one of the bureaucrats, said the agency “is reviving something that is centuries old.”
“Contempt is still alive,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the CBI.
“It comes to life during the election,” Singhvi said.
The Saradha group of companies have reportedly duped lakhs of people of around Rs 2,500 crore, promising higher rates of return on their investments.
The scam was discovered in 2013 during Mr. Kumar’s tenure as Police Commissioner of Bidhannagar.
Rajeev Kumar was part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the government of West Bengal to investigate the scam, before the Supreme Court handed the case over to the CBI in 2014 along with other cases of money funds.
In November 2019, the Supreme Court requested the IPS officer to respond to the CBI’s appeal contesting the advance bond granted to him in connection with the chit fund scam by the High Court of Calcutta.
The investigative agency had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the October 1, 2019 order of the Calcutta High Court, which granted Rajeev Kumar reparation, saying it was not about a suitable case for interrogation in custody.
The High Court had ordered Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with investigators and to make himself available for questioning on 48 hours’ notice by the CBI.
On September 21, 2019, a request for release on bail prior to the arrest of the IPS agent was rejected by the Alipore District and Sessions Court in Calcutta.
The Center and the West Bengal government were also locked in an unprecedented stalemate after a CBI team reached Rajeev Kumar’s official residence to question him, but had to withdraw as local police detained their agents. .
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