Saradha case: SC rejects Rajeev Kumar’s plea

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s plea seeking setting up of a special bench to hear extension of his interim protection from arrest in the Saradha scam.

The Supreme Court registry informed Kumar’s counsel that the matter cannot be listed this week.

Kumar was recently removed by the Election Commission (EC) from the post of Additional Director General – Criminal Investigation Department (CID) West Bengal and attached to the Home Ministry.

The former Bengal officer moved the top court on Monday, after it last week withdrew protection granted to him from arrest earlier on February 5 in the Saradha case, but gave him a week to approach other courts for relief. His protection from arrest ends on Friday.

Kumar’s counsel told a vacation bench, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna, that the matter required urgent listing as a week of protection from arrest was not enough and he needed more time to approach a court in Kolkata, where the lawyers were on strike.

The court, however, told Kumar’s counsel that since the earlier order was passed by a three-judge bench, it would be appropriate to approach the Registrar General of the apex court for setting up of a bench. The court told the counsel that CJI was the master of the roster.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has accused Kumar of tampering with evidence in the Saradha case chit fund scam case to shield powerful politicians. Vacating its February 5 order, the top court on Saturday expressed concern over the manner in which the case had panned out.