Saradha scam: SC refuses to set up special Bench to hear ex-Kolkata cop Rajeev Kumar’s plea

Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Express file photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to set up a special Bench to hear 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, ANI reported. Kumar had sought an extension of the time due to strike by lawyers in Kolkata.

Rajeev Kumar’s protection that began on May 17, will end on Friday – May 24.

Earlier on Monday, Kumar s lawyer mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna. Citing the lawyers’ strike, Kumar s counsel said four days have already elapsed and they needed time to approach the competent court in Kolkata.

However, the bench said since the May 17 order was passed by a three-judge bench, they can approach the registry for listing of the matter before an appropriate bench.

On May 17, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar in its February 5 order.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 February 5, 2019 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.