Major jolt to ex-Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, CJI Ranjan Gogoi rejects urgent listing of his plea
In a massive jolt to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined urgent listing of the application filed by the IPS officer. Kumar is seeking extension of protection from arrest. The top court on Monday had directed Kumar to approach the Registry for listing. Kumar's protection ends on Friday. Kumar is unable to apply for anticipatory bail due to lawyers' strike in West Bengal.
Last week, the Apex Court had withdrawn the interim protection given to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar from arrest by the CBI over his alleged role in destroying evidence in Saradha chit fund case. The top court gave seven days to Kumar to seek legal remedies. Sources in the CBI said that the agency officials have not seen the order yet. The future course of action will be decided only after going through the top court’s order, the sources said. It is still not clear that whether the probe agency officials will interrogate Kumar or wait till the end of 7-day period.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi with Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna also made it clear that the CBI can pursue the case in accordance with law. The Court, however, added that this order may not be treated as a direction to the CBI to carry out custodial interrogation.
Kumar has been in news but not for right reason. A day before the Supreme Court order, the Election Commission had ordered the removal of Kumar, who was posted as Additional Director General, CID, in West Bengal and had asked him to report to Union Home Ministry following the violence in Kolkata during BJP chief Amit Shah’s roadshow.
The CBI had told the apex court that it wanted custodial interrogation of Kumar, who was earlier heading West Bengal Police SIT probing chit fund scam, as there was prima facie evidence of his allegedly trying to destroy or tamper with evidence and "shield high and mighty" in the case. However, Kumar's counsel had countered CBI's submissions and told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the agency wanted his custodial interrogation "just to humiliate" him and CBI should not be allowed to abuse the process of law.