The Supreme Court on Friday withdrew its interim order protecting former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar from arrest, allowing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to "act in accordance with the law".
Kumar's protection from arrest will be withdrawn after seven days, after which the CBI will be at freedom to take him into custody. The seven days' time, reported LiveLaw, is so that Kumar can approach the "appropriate forum in accordance with law," to seek further protection.
The matter raises "very serious issues", said Justice Sanjiv Khanna while reading out the operative part of the judgment.
#NewsAlert – No relief for Rajeev Kumar in Saradha Chit Fund Scam. Kumar’s protection from arrest to be withdrawn after a week, CBI to act in accordance with the law: Supreme Court. #SaradhaScam | @utkarsh_aanand and @AnushaSoni23 with more details pic.twitter.com/vMb5W4agQB
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 17, 2019
The CBI had moved the Supreme Court seeking removal of the "no-coercive action" clause against Kumar as it had wanted to interrogate him after taking him into custody, in connection with chit fund scams.
Kumar had been embroiled in a controversy for being at loggerheads with the CBI over its investigations into the Saradha chit fund and Rose Valley scams. The CBI has been eager to challenge the protection. "If a person has additional protection at times he or she doesn't reveal things. It would be better if we question him in our custody," a senior CBI official had told PTI.
On 13 February, Kumar had been questioned by the CBI in Shillong following a Supreme Court directive on 5 February asking him to cooperate in the investigation.
The CBI had approached the Supreme Court after its officers were prevented by the Kolkata Police when they went to Kumar’s residence to question him on 3 February. What followed since that CBI visit was a saga with overarching political ramifications.
The move had led West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to launch a dharna in the heart of Kolkata, protesting against "the attack on constitutional norms".
Kumar, who has been posted as ADG and IGP of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in West Bengal since 19 February, was on 15 May transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs after a reshuffle was ordered by the Election Commission.
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Updated Date: May 17, 2019 11:53:09 IST