Saradha scam: SC dismisses ex-Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar’s plea seeking extension of protection from arrest

Former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Express file photo)

The Supreme Court Friday refused to entertain the plea of former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar who sought an extension of the seven-day protection against arrest in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case and instead directed him to approach the courts in Bengal, PTI reported. Rajeev Kumar s protection that began on May 17, will end today.

In his plea, Kumar had said the protection from arrest be extended till the lawyers’ protest in West Bengal comes to an end

A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said Kumar can approach the Calcutta High Court or the trial court there for seeking relief. "You (Rajeev Kumar) can go to Calcutta High Court or trial courts as they are functional. There is no vacation there (in courts of West Bengal). Seek appropriate remedy," ANI reported. The court had earlier refused to set up a special bench to hear his plea.

He, however, approached the court again on Thursday in view of the continuing state-wide lawyers’ strike in West Bengal.

On May 17, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar in its February 5 order. The SC was hearing a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking recall of its order. The central agency said it wanted to interrogate Kumar regarding allegations of trying to tamper with evidence in the case and shield high and mighty .

Kumar, who was earlier heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the chit fund cases in West Bengal, had countered the petition claiming the CBI was trying to humiliate him and that it was a case of abuse of power by the CBI.

In April, Kumar who was posted as Additional Director General, CID, in West Bengal, was removed from jis post for allegedly failing to control incidents of violence in the state.

Calling it an "attack on constitutional norms" CM Mamata Banerjee had staged a dharna in Kolkata protesting Kumar’s questioning by the CBI in February.