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Chit fund case: Ex-Kolkata police chief seeks adjournment

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Former police commissioner Rajeev Kumar told the Supreme on Monday that he could not file his response on Saturday to the CBI'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 took note of the submission of senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for 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 (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.

The apex had sought Kumar's response on April 8 on the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) plea seeking his arrest in the chit fund scam.

The had, on February 5, granted protection from arrest to Kumar while directing him to appear before the and "faithfully" cooperate in the investigation.

The central probe agency has sought vacation of the February 5 order so that it can arrest and interrogate Kumar.

"This is the interim application (IA) of the 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 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 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.

"Recall the interim protection granted to Rajeev Kumar for no coercive steps, including arrest, granted by this court by order dated February 5, 2019 to enable the CBI to subject him to interrogation in accordance with the law to unravel the entire gamut of the larger conspiracy in these ponzi scheme cases and its subsequent investigation," the CBI application says.

The agency said it needed to examine Kumar and other police officials to recover the material evidence and look into the acts of omission and commission on the part of the Bidhan Nagar police commissionerate and SIT officials in causing concealment of the evidence collected by them during the investigation.

Earlier, the apex court had termed as "very very serious" the revelations made by the CBI in its status report related to the recent interrogation of Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 20:05 IST