New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday decided not to pass any order directing personal presence of West Bengal chief secretary, DGP and former Kolkata police commissioner before it in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam in which they have been issued a contempt notice. “We are not passing any order. We will take up this matter tomorrow,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna.
According to the February 5 order, the matter was listed on whether Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De, DGP Virendra Kumar and Rajeev Kumar, former Kolkata Police Commissioner would be ordered to appear personally before the court on February 20 after the perusal of their affidavits filed yesterday. Kumar was on Monday shifted as Additional Director General of Police (ADG) and Inspector General of Police (IGP), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), West Bengal.
The apex court on February 5 had issued contempt notice to the trio on CBI allegations that they obstructed the agency and there was tampering with the electronic evidence in the cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam. The top court had said that after perusing their affidavits, a decision would be taken whether their personal appearance would be required or not and if needed, the Secretary General, apex court would inform them.
The three officers in their separate affidavits refuted CBI’s allegations that they obstructed investigation into the Saradha chit fund scam cases, with the state cops asserting the central agency forcefully tried to enter the then Kolkata police commissioner’s residence on February 3 without valid papers. They tendered “unconditional and unambiguous apology” for alleged disobedience of the court but maintained that the West Bengal government and the state police at no point of time obstructed investigation nor any official denied cooperation to CBI.
The officers opposed the contempt petition against them in which CBI alleged that they were tampering with evidence and not complying with the apex court’s various orders relating to the probe by asserting that there was a need for directions to the probe agency not to make any vague allegations without substantial and cogent evidence. Referring to the February 3 incident, Kumar said in his affidavit that CBI forcibly tried to enter his house without valid papers. The contention has been supported by the DGP in his affidavit.
They have also claimed that no police officials went on ‘dharna manch’ where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee sat to protest the CBI action. The DGP and Kumar said no police officer, in uniform or otherwise at any given point in time, ever sat or joined the dharna along with Banerjee. Kumar said it was “very intriguing” as to why a major decision by the CBI was taken to interrogate him on February 3, which was the last day in office of the then interim CBI director M Nageswara Rao.