Kolkata (West Bengal): Lauding the Supreme Court’ verdict directing that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar cannot be arrested by the CBI, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday it is a moral victory.
Addressing the media from the dharna site at Kolkata’s Metro Channel, Banerjee said that she and her party TMC have great respect for the judiciary, and today’s verdict will boost the morale of the officers.
Asked about the top court’s direction asking Kumar to appear before the CBI, she said, “Rajeev never stated that he will not cooperate (in the probe into the Sarada chit fund scam). He wanted to meet at a neutral place, but the CBI came to arrest him from his residence without any notice on Sunday.”
Slamming the ruling BJP, she alleged that the Centre was misusing agencies under it and interfering in opposition-ruled states.
The chief minister called the CBI versus Kolkata Police row “a constitutional breakdown”, saying that there cannot be any big boss in the country.
“Only democracy is the big boss here, Banerjee said.
The CBI had on Monday filed a contempt plea in the Supreme Court against the chief secretary of West Bengal, the director general of police and the police commissioner for alleged wilful and deliberate violation of apex court orders.
The agency said the non-cooperation of Rajeev Kumar was brought to the notice of the West Bengal DGP. However, neither the DGP nor the police commissioner cooperated, it alleged.
The CBI is investigating the case under a “hostile environment and non-cooperation from the state of West Bengal and it’s agencies/departments”, the petition said.
Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, has been serving as Kolkata’s police commissioner since January 2016. He has reportedly not responded to summonses from the CBI in connection with its probes into the Rose Valley and Sarada ponzi scams.
He led the SIT investigation into the scams until 2014 when the agency took over following directions from the Supreme Court. The CBI was slated to question Kumar about documents that allegedly went missing.