News By/Courtesy: Kaushal Shah | 19 May 2019 11:02am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Supreme Court withdrew protection from arrest given to former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.
  • The bench said the situation is grim as both sides have hardened their stand and there was no administrative mechanism in place to avoid and resolve conflicts between the two wings of police force.
  • The Election Commission on Wednesday had ordered the removal of Kumar, who was posted as Additional Director General, CID, in West Bengal f

The Supreme Court withdrew protection from arrest given to former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, in which the CBI wanted to interrogate him in custody. In its February 5 order, the supreme court said that it would grant protection from arrest to Kumar for another seven days from Friday to enable him to approach the competent court for relief. It was left open to the Central Bureau of Investigation by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna to act in accordance with the law. Taking serious note of "confrontation and clash" between the CBI and state police, the bench said, "With regret, we acknowledge and accept that despite orders and words of advice, enmity and resentment has escalated and not ebbed as is evident from the pleading and arguments addressed before us". It said due to limited controversy in CBI's application for vacating of February 5 direction, it was not referring to the earlier orders but "express our disappointment and dismay seeing the CBI and the West Bengal State Police Force (WBSPF) pitted and casting aspersions against each other and being embroiled in this feud".

The bench said the situation is grim as both sides have hardened their stand and there was no administrative mechanism in place to avoid and resolve such conflicts between the two wings of the police force in the country. "They (CBI and Police) have forgotten that the primary purpose and role of the police is to investigate crime, collect evidence and prosecute the offenders. The court also noted that West Bengal government and Kumar have alleged "political vendetta" and have made allegations against M Nageswara Rao, former interim CBI director. Earlier, Kumar in an affidavit before the court had alleged that he was targeted by CBI in the chit fund case due to "mala fide intent" and "conflict of interest" of Rao as his family members were under the scanner post-demonetisation.

The Election Commission on Wednesday had ordered the removal of Kumar, who was posted as Additional Director General, CID, in West Bengal for allegedly failing to control incidents of violence in the state and had asked him to report to the Union Home Ministry on Thursday. Kumar was removed along with West Bengal's Principal Secretary Atri Bhattacharya after parts of Kolkata witnessed widespread violence during BJP president Amit Shah's massive road show in the city. In its order, the court said that CBI had alleged non-cooperation and charges WB state police with "obfuscating the investigation by causing impediments and roadblocks with a view to protect big names and members/leaders of the ruling party in the State of West Bengal". The court noted the CBI's claim of having substantial material implicating Rajeev Kumar, the then Commissioner, Bidhannagar Commissionerate, of connivance and complicity with the principal accused.

Section Editor: Shreyashi Tiwari | 19 May 2019 11:16am IST


Tags : #SC #Interim_Protection #Withdrawn #Rajeev_Kumar #Police #Chief

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