Former Kolkata top cop Rajeev Kumar’s pre-arrest bail plea rejected
A court in Kolkata on Saturday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of former city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who has failed to turn up for questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with its probe in the Saradha chit fund case.
Kumar, currently serving as the additional director general of West Bengal Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), moved the court seeking anticipatory bail on Friday, days after the Kolkata high court removed the 53-year-old’s interim protection from arrest.
Earlier in the day, CBI’s counsel Kalicharan Mishra argued that Kumar should not be granted bail “considering the social ramification of the case and in the interest of fair and transparent investigation”.
Defending Kumar, his counsel Gopal Haldar said in the court that the former Kolkata police commissioner’s name did not feature in the original charge sheet as well as the six supplementary charge sheets submitted by the agency in the case.
“Nowhere has the CBI said that Kumar was connected with the original case,” said Haldar.
CBI officers have alleged that Kumar is not cooperating in its probe and has remained untraceable since his interim protection from arrest was removed.
Haldar, however, said the agency was informed on August 28 that Kumar would not be available for questioning between September 1 and 25.
Last week, the director general of West Bengal police apprised the CBI that Kumar was on leave
Earlier, Kumar had failed to get relief from the Barasat District and Sessions court on his anticipatory bail application in the case.
Kumar, an IPS officer of 1989 batch, was heading a special investigation team (SIT) that was set up by the Mamata Banerjee state government in 2013 to investigate the multi-crore Saradha chit fund case.
In 2014, the CBI took over the case following a Supreme Court order. Kumar has been accused of concealing and tampering with evidence to shield influential beneficiaries of the Saradha ponzi scheme.
The Saradha group of companies allegedly duped lakhs of people to the tune of ?2500 crore, promising higher rates of return on their investments.