Saradha Scam: SC adjourns hearing in CBI plea seeking to arrest ex-Kolkata top cop

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned hearing in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea seeking permission to arrest ex-Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Deepak Gupta posted the matter for hearing on April 30.

Last week, the former Kolkata Police Commissioner had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court stating that the agency was allegedly acting at the behest of two BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayavargiya.

“The sudden inexplicable turn by the CBI in pointing out problems with the investigation and targeting the alleged contemnor (Rajeev Kumar) seems to be borne out of a larger conspiracy between two senior leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya of the BJP the ruling party at the center,” Kumar stated in his affidavit.

Kumar submitted affidavit after the bench had asked Kumar to file his response over CBI’s plea seeking custodial interrogation and permission to arrest him in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.

While knocking the doors of the apex court to seek permission to arrest him, the agency had claimed that the former top cop has not been cooperating and was very evasive while being interrogated at Shillong in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case.

“There is a clear cut malafide intention of the CBI against him during the course of the Saradha chit fund scam case”, Kumar stated in his affidavit.

After the demonetization in November 2016, the West Bengal Police initiated a probe into some ‘shell companies’ that prima facie appeared to be actively involved in a scam, wherein these companies were receiving huge sums of deposits post-demonetization.

“Taking cognizance, an FIR was registered in this regard. During the investigation into it, the role of one company ‘Angela Mercantiles Pvt. Ltd’ (AMPL) came under the scanner in connection with various dubious transactions and also for collecting money deposits from the public in an unauthorized manner”, Kumar stated in his affidavit.

“During the investigation, the role of Mannem Sandhya and Mannem Aamani (i.e. the wife and daughter of M. Nageswara Rao, Ex-Director, CBI respectively) transpired,” Kumar stated in his affidavit

He also raised questions on the charges levied against him the case saying that the said charges did not come from any of investigation agencies or court but from a politician in a public gathering.

On April 6, the probe agency in its plea filed before the top court stated the custodial interrogation of Kumar is required to unravel conspiracy and nexus between directors of Saradha Group and the politicians related to the case.

CBI had also stated that Kumar who was in charge of the day-to-day functioning of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in chit fund case, failed in collecting certain key electronic evidence relating to the case.