A team from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday visited the state secretariat, Nabanna, in Howrah and gave two letters to Chief Secretary and Home Secretary seeking information about former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with its ongoing investigation into the Saradha chit fund case.
Kumar, who has been accused by the CBI of tampering and withholding evidence and documents to shield influential persons involved in the multi-crore scam, was asked to appear before the probe agency for questioning by 2 pm on Monday. However, the 1989-batch IPS officer did not turn up before the CBI.
Sources in the CBI said that the central probe agency has been trying to get in touch with Kumar but to no avail. Even on Monday, he was untraceable and his phone remained unreachable, CBI sources said.
Kumar, currently serving as Additional Director General of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), is on leave since last Tuesday.
The probe agency, in the letters, sought to know the whereabouts of the police officer and the grounds on which he had gone on a month-long leave, a senior official at the state secretariat said. The agency also sought to know when Kumar would be joining duty, the official said.
“Kumar is on a leave from September 9 to September 25. A letter has been sent to the CBI, informing them about Kumar’s leave,” a senior official at the secretariat said.
This is the second occasion since last Saturday when Kumar has failed to present himself before the CBI despite repeated summons.
On Sunday, the CBI had attempted to submit the letters to the top state government officials — Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and Home Secretary Maloy Dey — on Kumar’s whereabouts but was asked to come back on Monday as it was a holiday.
On Friday, the Calcutta High Court had vacated its interim order granting protection to Kumar from arrest in connection with the chit fund scam probe. In its order, the High Court stated that no one is above the law, and the petitioner (Kumar) cannot seek special treatment.
Meanwhile, top CBI officials on Monday held marathon meetings to decide on the next course of action. According to reports, Kumar is likely to file an anticipatory bail petition at Barasat court on Tuesday.
Kumar was part of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the TMC government in the state to investigate the scam before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014, along with other chit fund cases.
CBI officials said that Kumar had allegedly suppressed evidence crucial for filing the final charge-sheet in the Saradha scam case. The Saradha group of companies had allegedly duped lakhs of people to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore, promising higher rates of returns on their investments.
Article source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/saradha-chit-fund-probe-no-trace-of-rajeev-kumar-cbi-seeks-his-info-from-west-bengal-govt-6001431/