Former Kolkata top cop Rajeev Kumar questioned by CBI in Saradha Chit Fund case
A CBI official, who did not wish to be named, said the entire interrogation was videographed.Updated: Jun 08, 2019 01:49 IST
Former Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar was questioned on Friday for about four hours by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Saradha scam in which he has been accused of tampering with evidence to shield influential persons.
Kumar reached the CBI office in Salt Lake around 11 am, in what was his first appearance in the agency’s office. He left the office around 3 pm.
A CBI official, who did not wish to be named, said the entire interrogation was videographed. “A printout of the statement was also given to Kumar for verification...,” he said.
Kumar was asked about a pen drive and red diary that the special investigation team (SIT), constituted by the Mamata Banerjee government in 2013 and headed by Kumar himself, seized from the office of the Saradha Group in Salt Lake. The pen drive and the diary are believed to contain information on pay-offs to influential persons.
The SIT had investigated the scam till 2014, when the CBI took over the probe following an order by the Supreme Court.
“We will tally his statement with those given by Arnab Ghosh, Kumar’s second-in-command in the SIT, and that of Prabhakar Nath, the first investigating officer in the Saradha case,” the CBI official cited above said.
Kumar might be asked to appear again next week, he said.
The Rs 2,460-crore Saradha scam, possibly the biggest financial scam in Bengal, saw a minister (Madan Mitra), a Rajya Sabha MP (Kunal Ghosh) and a Trinamool Congress vice-president (Rajat Majumdar) being sent to jail. Another Rajya Sabha MP (Srinjoy Bose), who is from the TMC, was questioned.
Over the past few months, the CBI has unsuccessfully tried to interrogate Kumar several times. On February 3, when a team of CBI officers tried to reach his official residence in Kolkata -- he was the commissioner of Kolkata Police then – the CM launched a sit-in demonstration against the Centre accusing BJP leaders of conspiring against whom she described as “the most efficient” police officer. Subsequently, the CBI got to question Kumar in Shillong for five consecutive days in February but with the rider that CBI could not arrest him.
The matter will be heard by a regular bench on June 10.