File photo of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in Kolkata | PTI
File photo of ex-police commissioner of Kolkata Rajeev Kumar | PTI
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New Delhi: Former police commissioner of Kolkata Rajeev Kumar Monday told the Supreme Court that the CBI has leveled baseless allegations against him and was wrongly hounding him in connection with its probe into the multi-crore Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams.

In his response filed before the top court, Kumar submitted that the sudden inexplicable turn by the CBI in pointing out problems with the investigation and targeting him seems to be borne out of a larger conspiracy between two senior BJP leaders — Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya.

“This apprehension is corroborated by the contents of an audio clip that was reported widely by the press and electronic media at the time where the said leaders clearly speak of ‘targeting’ a few ‘Senior Police Officers’ of the State,” Kumar said in his reply.

Kumar, who is now posted as the Additional Director General of Police in West Bengal CID, filed his reply in response to an application filed by the CBI in the Supreme Court, seeking his re-arrest in connection with the chit fund cases.

In its application, the CBI had said it was necessary to conduct a custodial interrogation of the top cop “to unravel the entire gamut of the larger conspiracy in the Ponzi scam cases”.

The CBI also sought to vacate the Supreme Court’s interim order of 5 February granting protection from arrest to Kumar.

Larger conspiracy

In his detailed reply running into 89 pages, Kumar said it was Vijayvargiya who during his visit to Kolkata in January 2017 had addressed a public gathering where he had first accused him of destroying evidence of the scams.

This raises concerns on the veracity of such a statement and clearly points to the motive, Kumar said.

‘I was never in possession of any evidence’

Kumar has been at the centre of controversy over his alleged role in tampering of crucial evidence of the scams. He had earlier headed the West Bengal Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the scams before it was handed over to the CBI.

In his response, Kumar refuted the allegations made by the CBI that he has not cooperated with them. The former police chief further said the CBI questioned him for close to 40 hours over a period of five days in Shillong, Meghalaya.

This has been video-taped and the same must be presented before the Supreme Court for its consideration, Kumar said.

During his interrogation, Kumar submitted that he reiterated that he was never in possession of any material/evidence related to the scams and suggested that the clarification from the Investigation Officers concerned should be obtained if there is any alleged discrepancy. This suggestion has been ignored by the CBI, Kumar said.


Also read: CBI’s Saradha scam probe is not being monitored by Supreme Court


‘CBI failed to follow rule of law’

The CBI has persistently and consistently failed to follow the rule of law, Kumar said. The CBI has not filed a fresh FIR to substantiate the claims made, he added.

“Therefore, taking any coercive action against the answering respondent herein without even registering a case under investigation for any alleged offence, is an abuse of process of law,” the former police commissioner said.

Kumar further pointed out that the seizure of evidence is made by the Investigating Officer concerned and the evidence is kept in his exclusive possession.

“Therefore, any allegation of any destruction of evidence by an investigative agency cannot be concluded without examining the relevant Investigating Officers, which has not been done in the instant case,” he said.

“It is most respectfully submitted that interestingly, before making such a wild allegation, the CBI has not made any attempt to summon the concerned Investigating Officers and/or to interrogate them in relation to the alleged tampering of evidence,” Kumar said.

Even the superintendent and the supervising officer of the investigation have not been summoned in this regard and no allegations have been made against them regarding alleged destruction of evidence, Kumar said.

The CBI has sought time to reply and the apex court will hear the matter next on 22 April.


Also read: Saradha Ponzi scheme: The scam behind Mamata’s dharna against CBI


 

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  1. If someone has presented himself for interview whenever called upon to do so, has been questioned for forty hours over a period of five days, is a senior, serving IPS officer who does not constitute a flight risk, unclear why arrest, followed by custodial interrogation, should be necessary. Custodial interrogation, in common parlance, is generally equated with use of third degree methods for habitual, hardened criminals.

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