Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar told the Supreme Court on Monday that he could not file his response on Saturday to the Central Bureau of Investigation’s plea seeking his arrest in the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam and sought adjournment of the hearing.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submission of senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Mr. Kumar, and postponed the hearing on the plea of the probe agency till April 22.
“Indira Jaising, senior counsel, submits that the counter-affidavit of respondent no. 3 (Mr. Kumar) was required to be filed on Saturday (April 13) but Saturday being a holiday for the registry, she may be allowed to file the same today. The said affidavit may be brought on record during the course of the day. Rejoinder affidavit, if any, be filed on or before April 20. The matter will be listed on April 22,” the Bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said.
Chit fund scam
The apex court had sought Mr. Kumar’s response on April 8 on the CBI’s plea seeking his arrest in the chit fund scam.
The court had, on February 5, granted protection from arrest to Mr. Kumar while directing him to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate in the investigation. The CBI has sought vacation of the February 5 order so that it can arrest and interrogate Mr. Kumar.
“This is the interim application (IA) of the CBI seeking custodial interrogation of Rajeev Kumar. Issue notice. Let the matter be listed for hearing on April 15,” the Bench had said. It had also allowed the CBI to file a fresh affidavit regarding its allegations that telecom operators Vodafone and Airtel were not cooperating with it in the probe.
In its plea in the apex court, the agency has said the recall of the order granting Mr. Kumar interim protection from arrest was necessary “to unravel the entire gamut of the larger conspiracy in the ponzi scheme cases”.
The CBI has also sought the court’s directions to the authorities in West Bengal to comply with the earlier orders of the court “in letter and spirit” and not to create any hurdle in the agency’s probe or try to “intimidate, harass and scare” its officials investigating the cases.