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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Former Kolkata top cop Rajeev Kumar moves court for anticipatory bail

On Friday afternoon, officers of the investigative agency visited the official residence of Rajeev Kumar on Park Street and spent more than an hour. According to CBI officers, they also asked Kumar’s wife about his whereabouts.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2019 18:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Former Police Commissioner of Kolkata Rajeev Kumar at the CBI office in Saltlake during an earlier interrogation.
Former Police Commissioner of Kolkata Rajeev Kumar at the CBI office in Saltlake during an earlier interrogation.(HT PHOTO.)
         

The lawyers of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Friday filed a petition at the Alipore Court seeking anticipatory bail against an impending arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that is probing his role in the Saradha ponzi scam.

“We have filed a petition for anticipatory bail at the Alipore Judges Court. It is set to come up for hearing at noon tomorrow,” Kumar’s counsel Gopal Haldar said.

Only a day ago, responding to a prayer by the CBI to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant against Kumar, Subrata Mukherjee, the additional chief judicial magistrate of Alipore Court, said he could be arrested without a warrant. The judge also observed that the agency could approach the court if it faced any adverse situation while making the arrest.

Also Read | No relief for Kolkata ex-top cop in court

On Friday afternoon, officers of the investigative agency visited the official residence of Rajeev Kumar on Park Street and spent more than an hour. According to CBI officers, they also asked Kumar’s wife about his whereabouts.

On Thursday, too, a team visited his residence and served summons to appear for questioning at the agency’s Salt Lake office.

A team of officers on Friday also visited a resort in Bishnupur area of South 24 Parganas district in search of Kumar and a few buildings on Camac Street and Lake Town. On Thursday, CBI officers visited an Indian Police Service (IPS) officers’ mess at Alipore of south Kolkata and also a hotel on Kolkata’s Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

The agency’s officers have alleged that Rajeev Kumar has remained untraceable since September 13, when a Calcutta High Court order removed the protective shield Kumar was enjoying paving the way for the CBI to arrest him if the agency felt it necessary.

Since then CBI has not only been looking for Kumar, but also approached the state’s top officials – chief secretary, home secretary and director general of police – to know his whereabouts. They were told that Kumar is on leave till September 25 and the address of his residence was mentioned as 34 Park Street.

On Thursday, while moving the petition for an arrest warrant, CBI lawyers said Kumar was untraceable and that the state government was not cooperating with information on his whereabouts.

Kumar, an IPS officer of 1989 batch, who is now posted as additional director general of the Criminal Investigation Department of the state police, is facing a probe for allegedly suppressing evidence and documents in the Saradha ponzi scam and shielding influential persons who illegally benefitted from it.

Kumar was the head of the SIT that was set up by the Mamata Banerjee government in 2013 to investigate the scam. In 2014, CBI took over the case following an order of the Supreme Court.

The Saradha Group ran an unlicensed fund, which went bust in 2013 and wiped out deposits from around 1.8 million, mostly poor, depositors. Ruling Trinamool Congress leaders such as former minister Madan Mitra and former Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh were jailed for their alleged involvement the politically sensitive scam that entailed deposits of about Rs 2,460 crore.

First Published: Sep 20, 2019 17:49 IST

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