PTI Photo
PTI Photo

Shillong: The CBI on Wednesday allowed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to return to Kolkata after questioning him for five consecutive days here in connection with chit fund scam cases, an official said. A team of 12 senior CBI officers examined Kumar for his alleged role in tampering of evidence in the Rs 2,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam, which the agency is probing. Kumar was also questioned about the Rose Valley ponzi scam.

After examining him for over 30 hours since Saturday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday afternoon allowed the senior IPS officer to return to Kolkata, the official told PTI. On Wednesday, he had arrived at the CBI office around 9.30 am and he was let off around 12:30 pm, he said.

According to official sources, the Kolkata Police chief had written to the probe agency seeking a ‘break’ as he is required to prepare a reply to the contempt petition filed by the CBI against him and two other senior officers in the Supreme Court. Kumar left for Guwahati from where he is scheduled to fly to Kolkata.

Two other senior Kolkata Police officers who had been with Kumar since Saturday also left with him, sources said. The CBI had also questioned former Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh separately and along with Kumar on Sunday and on Monday.

The ex-MP, who was arrested in 2013 in the Saradha scam and has been out on bail since 2016, was allowed to return to Kolkata on Monday. Kumar had led the special investigation team (SIT) formed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to probe the Saradha scam before the case was handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court.

The CBI had moved the Supreme Court after its sleuths were thwarted by the Kolkata Police when they had gone to Kumar’s official residence in Kolkata to question him on February 3. Banerjee had rushed to the spot and staged a three-day ‘Save the Constitution’ sit-in against the CBI’s move and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah of plotting a ‘coup’.

The central investigating agency had said its officials had wanted to question Kumar to plug the holes in the Saradha investigation case as he was supposed to be in possession of certain key documents as a member of the SIT.

The Supreme Court had directed the Kolkata Police Commissioner last week to appear before the CBI and ‘faithfully’ cooperate in the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam. The court chose Shillong as the neutral meeting place ‘to avoid all unnecessary controversy’ and also made it clear that Kumar would not be arrested.

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