In a new twist to the Saradha chit fund scam, the tussle between the former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar and the CBI took a political colour on Wednesday. Kumar, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, pointed at a conspiracy hatched by two senior BJP leaders in West Bengal to target him in the scam.
Kumar, in response to a CBI application in the top court seeking his custodial interrogation, alleged that in an audio clip, BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya can be heard talking about "targeting a few senior police officers." The audio clip, he said, is widely available.
Kumar said: "This apprehension (of a conspiracy) is corroborated by the contents of the audio clip that was reported widely by the press and electronic media in which the leaders clearly speak of "targeting a few senior police officers of the state."
Kumar has submitted the audio clip in the court.
The CBI moved the apex court last week seeking permission for "custodial interrogation" of Kumar in the Saradha case. The agency informed the court that in order to take investigations in a conclusive direction, it requires detailed questioning of Kumar to untangle the larger conspiracy and the money trail in the scam.
The probe agency has accused Kumar of being evasive and non-cooperative.
Kumar in the affidavit said: "The sudden inexplicable turn by the petitioner/CBI in pointing out problems with the investigation and targeting the alleged contemnor seems to be borne out of a larger conspiracy between two senior leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijaywargiya of the BJP, the ruling party at the Centre."
The CBI has requested the apex court to recall its order on February 5 restraining the agency from resorting to any "coercive action" against Kumar, including arrest. The CBI also intends to interrogate some other Bengal police officers for their alleged role in the scam.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted the contention of senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Kumar, and scheduled the hearing on CBI's plea till April 22.
Earlier in the day, Kumar told the court that he was not able to file his response to CBI's plea seeking his arrest and sought adjournment.
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