Business Standard

SC lifts stay on ex-Kolkata police chief's arrest

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The on Friday vacated the interim protection granted to former from arrest by the in the multi-crore chit fund scam cases.

The investigating agency has accused Kumar of tampering with evidence to shield powerful politicians.

The court, however, granted seven days time to Kumar to take appropriate legal remedies.

While vacating its February 5 order granting the interim protection to Kumar, the apex court also expressed concern over the manner in which the chit fund cases panned out.

While arguing the case, Indira Jaising, appearing for the officer, argued that the (CBI) was being vindictive and had cooked up a false case against Kumar.

To support her argument, she referred to Kumar's unblemished career and said he was a decorated and no doubt had ever been cast on his integrity.

Kumar was awarded the President's Medal in 2015, after due diligence and scrutiny by the to select a candidate who had not been implicated in a case or departmental inquiry, she added.

Jaising said till date, the had been unable to establish Kumar's criminal intent in suppressing evidence in the investigation. "And yet they are seeking his custodial interrogation. There is a going on."

She claimed that there was a reason why the singled out Kumar in the case.

"(Then interim) CBI actually set the investigation agency after Kumar because there is an FIR against Rao's wife in West Bengal," she said.

Recalling the February incident when the CBI went to question Kumar and the entire episode took a political turn, Jaising said the agency tried to raid Kumar's house in his absence.

"His wife, a public servant, was in the house. They levelled false charges that he has hidden evidence at his residence," she argued.

Jaising also contended that the CBI was deliberately going after Kumar but never questioned Arnab Ghosh, then General of Police of Police, who was also part of the SIT investigating the chit fund scam.

The also said no evidence of value was found on the seized during the probe.

Appearing for the CBI, insisted that the agency was not hounding Kumar.

"We asked them a simple question regarding the FSL report of the seized during the investigation but they did not give us any report," he said.

He also said it was impossible to establish the authenticity of electronic data seized during the scam in the absence of a forensic science laboratory (FSL) report.

Insisting that the FSL report was crucial to solve the case, he said: "We have been demanding it since the case was handed over to the CBI. How do we know that mobiles, laptops, pen drives have not been compromised?"

At this, Jaising said the data was seized by different agencies -- the (SFIO), the and the -- and not by the Police alone.



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First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 12:04 IST