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No reprieve for Mamata confidant Rajeev Kumar from Supreme Court, arrest shield ends Friday

The top court had last week withdrawn its protection from arrest extended to the senior Bengal officer earlier in connection with the Saradha chit fund case but given him a week to approach other courts for relief.

india Updated: May 21, 2019 14:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mamata Banerjee,India news,Supreme Court
Former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar (PTI photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition by former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar who wanted a special bench to hear his request to extend his arrest shield. The top court had last week withdrawn its protection from arrest extended to the senior Bengal officer earlier in connection with the Saradha chit fund case but given him a week to approach other courts for relief.

Rajeev Kumar, who is seen as a confidant of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had rushed back to the top court on Monday to seek an extension.

Kumar’s lawyer had cited two grounds for his request to a vacation bench of justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna on Monday: the ongoing lawyers’ strike in Kolkata, and the Election Commission of India’s refusal to sanction him leave for more than two days.

But the two judges told him that he will have to approach the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi since the one-week breather was given to him by a bench comprising three judges.

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On Tuesday, Chief Justice Gogoi rejected the request to set up a special bench for his case and effectively ended any hopes of stretching the protection from arrest beyond Friday.

The top court had on February 5 restrained CBI from arresting Kumar in the Saradha chit fund case. Kumar was directed to appear before CBI and cooperate. Later, CBI moved an application before the Supreme Court asking it to withdraw the protection from arrest given to Kumar.

In his petition, Kumar has complained against the Election Commission of India for denying him leave so that he can go to Kolkata and filed an appropriate plea before a competent court. Kumar said the poll panel sanctioned him a two-day leave after the ministry of home affairs forwarded his request to it.

The former Kolkata Police chief joined MHA on May 16, a day after the election commission gave a report against him in connection with the pre-poll violence that broke out in Kolkata and transferred him to the ministry.

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First Published: May 21, 2019 13:16 IST