Kolkata Police Commissioner, Rajeev Kumar, who is at the centre of the unfolding constitutional crisis in West Bengal, was rebuked by CJI Gogoi. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, told the bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and CJI Ranjan Gogoi that, “Extraordinary situation has arrived. The CBI office was under siege. Evidence (electronic) has been destroyed, we’ve issued four summons to the commissioner. On a daily basis, FIRs are being registered against CBI officers. We are also filing a contempt petition. He should immediately surrender and we have certain things to point out.”
The SG Mehta requested to SC, “Please take cognisance that people in uniform are sitting on dharna with a political party and hear the matter at 2 pm. The evidence which is in the electronic form will be destroyed.”
The SG also submitted, “We have two prayers…first, the surrender of evidence by the police chief. Despite repeated notices, he refused to show up…Second, contempt against the police officers who sat on a Dharna with the political leaders.”
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The investigation that Mamata is trying to derail with dharna drama was initiated at the behest of Supreme Court and not the Center. As such, the Court has taken cognizance of the matter and a hearing is underway.
The CJI Gogoi stated, “If Kolkata Police Commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this Court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret.”
Hearing on CBI plea in SC: CJI Gogoi says, "If Kolkata Police Commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this Court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret." #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/4VRhH7b4Ff
— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
The SC said all material or evidence has to be placed before it by means of affidavit.The bench listed the applications for 10:30 AM on Tuesday, the CJI also allowed the SG to bring on record material to support his claim.
Earlier, interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao also made similar allegations. He told ANI that there is evidence against Rajeev Kumar. Rao said, “He has been instrumental in causing destruction of this evidence and obstructing justice.” He further added that the CBI is probing these chit fund cases as per the directions of the apex court. Rao alleged that the Kolkata Police has taken charge of all the evidence, seized all the documents. He said, “They have not been cooperating with us in handing over all the documents and a lot of evidence has been destroyed or caused to disappear.”
As per a CBI official, its move to question Rajeev Kumar was aimed at finding “crucial evidence” linked to the “larger conspiracy” behind the chit fund scams in the state. As per the CBI officials, Kumar had led the Special Investigation Team of the West Bengal police investigating the chit fund scams. He has to be questioned about the missing documents and files but he was not responding to notices to appear before the CBI. However, the West Bengal chief minister has started creating hurdles in the path of the premier probe agency instead of being co-operative with it.
For more details: Mamata Banerjee challenges Union’s authority to shield an allegedly corrupt cop