New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not to take any coercive steps against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar while asking him to join the investigation in the Saradha chit fund scam case.
The court instructed Kumar to appear before the premier investigation agency in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong, as it was a neutral place.
In its affidavit submitted before the top court, the CBI that the obstruction and detention of its senior officials amounted to an “armed rebellion” against the union government and agencies.
“It was a case of investigating inaction, selective action and a police and chit fund nexus. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Kumar was used to shield scams of companies such as Saradha, Rose Valley and Tower Group,” the CBI said.
The CBI stated that call data records given to it by SIT were incomplete and less calls were shown in the data.
“The SIT gave us doctored copies of call records,” the probe agency said.
Attorney General KK Venugopal told the top court that the SIT did not properly investigate people connected to West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee’s party Trinamool Congress (TMC).
He said a laptop and several cell phones recovered from Saradha owner Sudipto Roy were seized by SIT, but returned to him without capturing data.
He accused the SIT of either a “serious omission” or a “deliberate commission”.
Appearing for West Bengal government, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that it was a case of witch hunt as Kumar was a witness and not an accused in the Saradha chit fund scam.
On Monday, the SC had pulled up CBI for not providing any proof of its claim that the Kolkata Police chief could destroy electronic evidence related to Saradha case.
Reacting to Tuesday’s court order, CM Banerjee said it was a “moral victory” for her and people of the state.
“Only the people and nobody is the big boss of this country. Only democracy is the big boss of this country. It is not my victory alone. It is a victory of the Constitution,” Banerjee told media.
Union Minister Babul Supriyo, however, said Banerjee was “delusional” if she thought the court order meant victory for her.
“Mamata Banerjee is delusional to claim victory. When did CBI say that they went to arrest Rajeev Kumar? She was blocking the probe by instructing Rajeev to not cooperate in the probe. Supreme Court has ordered him to present himself before CBI, something he did not do for three years,” Supriyo tweeted.
Taking a jibe at Banerjee, Union Minister Smriti Irani said the West Bengal CM was left with egg on her face.
“With egg on her face, to celebrate it as a moral victory is a dichotomy available only to Mamata Banerjee’s realm of politics. The order should be a matter of introspection and concern for her,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday wrote to West Bengal state government asking it to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Kumar citing indisciplined behaviour.