Calcutta HC reserves verdict on former top cop Rajeev Kumar’s anticipatory bail plea
The Calcutta High Court on Monday reserved its verdict on the anticipatory bail plea of former Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha ponzi scam after the hearing concluded behind closed doors.
The puja vacation for the court starts from Wednesday.
Kumar remained untraceable for the 18th straight day Monday since September 13 when a Calcutta High Court order removed the protective shield around him in the Saradha investigation by the CBI, clearing the way for the agency to arrest him if it wanted to.
The petition in the high court was the third anticipatory bail plea by Kumar, who is currently posted as the additional director general of the Criminal Investigation Department of Bengal Police. Earlier, he applied for anticipatory bail at the district court in North 24 Parganas district which said it did not have jurisdiction, and then the Judges Court at Alipore which rejected his plea.
During the same time, CBI moved two petitions for nonbailable arrest warrant against the former Kolkata top cop. While a special court for MLAs and MPs in North 24 Parganas district said it did not have jurisdiction, the additional chief judicial magistrate at Alipore ruled that the agency could arrest Kumar without a warrant.
The CBI has accused Kumar of withholding and tampering evidence to shield influential persons who benefitted from the ponzi scam. Some of the items that the SIT allegedly withheld from the CBI were diaries and a pen drive containing details of payoffs made by the Saradha group to political leaders and influential persons.
Kumar has so far eluded a CBI manhunt which has checked out various places including his residence at Kolkata’s Park Street and office in Alipore apart from several other places in the city and neighbouring districts of South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Howrah, East Midnapore.
Leaders of all opposition parties have slammed the leaders of ruling Trinamool Congress, alleging that its top leaders must be aware of the whereabouts of Kumar. They also pointed out that chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched a two-day sit-in demonstration in Kolkata in February to protest against the visit of a CBI team to the official residence of Kumar, who was the commissioner of Kolkata Police at that time.
The SIT investigated the Saradha scam till CBI took over the case in 2014 with the Supreme Court asking the agency to also probe the role of influential persons and the larger design behind the scam.