Court bars agency from arresting top cop; CBI alleges Rajeev Kumar doctored evidence
Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar has to appear before the CBI in Shillong, make available all evidence and
cooperate with investigation into the chit fund scams in West Bengal, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday as the CBI accused the officer of “doctoring evidence” and shielding the accused.
However, the SC said no coercive steps, including the arrest of the Kolkata
Police chief, will take place during the course of investigation.
The CBI told the SC that the Kolkata Police Commissioner, who was leading the SIT probe into the Saradha chit fund scam, tampered with the electronic evidence and handed over document to the agency some of which were “doctored”.
The CBI also alleged that there was a “wilful” omission and commission by him and the SIT of which he was the functional head.
A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi issued a notice to Kumar and sought his response before February 20, the next date of hearing on the allegations by the CBI that he was tampering with electronic evidence and that the SIT headed by him provided the agency with doctored materials.
The SC further directed the West Bengal Chief Secretary, the Director General of police (DGP) and the Kolkata Police Commissioner to file replies on the contempt pleas filed against them by the CBI on or before February 18.
The Bench that also comprised justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna said on consideration of replies of the Chief Secretary, the DGP and the Kolkata Police Commissioner, the court may seek personal appearance of these officials on February 20.
The apex court’s secretary general will inform them on February 19 whether they are required to be present before the apex court on February 20, the Bench noted.
Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that Kumar was not cooperating in the investigation of chit fund cases, handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court, and the SIT had not given the complete call data details.
“What was given to us was doctored copy of call records,” the Attorney General told the SC.
The CBI alleged that the laptop and cellphones recovered from Sudipta Sen, Chairman of the Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi scheme, by the SIT were not sent to forensic laboratory.
Those electronic devices were recovered from Sen, who was arrested from a place in Jammu & Kashmir after a long time. The agency alleged that call data was also erased and it was difficult to find out who called whom.
Senior advocate AM Singhvi, who appeared for the West Bengal Police, refuted the allegations against Kumar. Singhvi said that there was no destruction of evidence which the CBI is claiming after five years of investigation.
“Where is the destruction of evidence after five years? After five years no FIR against Kumar for destruction of evidence under section 201 of IPC has been lodged,” Singhvi added.
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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