SC to hear on Friday former Kolkata top cop’s plea for extension of protection

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday hear the plea filed by former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar seeking an extension of the seven-day period granted to him to approach a competent court after his protection from arrest in connection with Saradha chit fund scam, which ends tomorrow.

Kumar’s counsel Sunil Fernandes mentioned the matter before the vacation bench of the apex court presided by Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah, which slated the matter for hearing tomorrow.

Kumar had approached the Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest claiming that he is not able to access the legal remedies in West Bengal as the courts in the state are undergoing a strike.

“In view of the resolutions passed by the Bar Council of West Bengal the entire working of the courts has come to a standstill in the state, and in such circumstances the petitioner is unable to avail any legal remedies against the arbitrary actions of the Respondent/CBI herein, and because of the withdrawal of the interim protection granted by this Hon’ble Court on May 17, 2019, the chances of arrest of the Petitioner are imminent,” Kumar said in his plea.

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Kumar further stated that due to non-functioning of the courts, his personal liberty is at peril. “The Petitioner has no avenues to seek any legal remedy against the false and motivated actions of the Respondent/CBI,” the plea read.

The apex court had on Tuesday refused to set up a special bench to hear Kumar’s plea.

The Supreme Court had last week vacated the interim protection to Kumar from the arrest in Saradha chit fund scam case but granted him seven days’ time to approach a competent court to seek legal remedies.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna had said that the order should not be treated as a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for custodial interrogation and asked the investigating agency to act as per law.

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The CBI, in its plea, had sought permission for custodial interrogation of Kumar, who earlier headed West Bengal Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the chit fund scam, over his alleged role in destroying evidence in the case.

An unprecedented chain of events had unfolded on February 3 when a CBI team was detained by Kolkata Police when it reached Kumar’s residence to question him. It was followed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to the officer’s home. The CBI officers were taken to a police station and later released.


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