Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as directed by the Election Commission of India (EC) on Thursday morning, a day before the Supreme Court is expected to pronounce its order on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea seeking permission for his custodial interrogation for his alleged role in destroying evidence in the Saradha chit fund case.

On Wednesday, the poll body removed West Bengal’s principal secretary (home) Atri Bhattacharya for his alleged “interference in the election process”, a day after workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party clashed in Kolkata. It also removed Kumar from the post of the additional director general, Crime Investigation Department, and attached him to the MHA, the cadre controlling authority for the Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.

Kumar is under the CBI scanner in the Saradha case. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments of the agency and Kumar’s counsel on May 2. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta represented the probe agency, while senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared on behalf of Kumar and West Bengal during hearing.

The investigative agency has argued that Kumar’s custodial interrogation is required to probe a larger conspiracy, and Kumar and other police officials’ alleged role in causing disappearance and destruction of evidence in the case.

CBI also said the arrest and custodial interrogation of Kumar was required to unravel alleged nexus between directors of Saradha Group and politicians. CBI said Kumar, who earlier appeared before officials for questioning in Shillong as per a Supreme Court order, remained elusive, evaded all pertinent questions and did not assist the probe agency in making available crucial evidence in the chit fund cases.

(with agency inputs)

First Published:
May 16, 2019 22:39 IST

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