No relief for IPS officer Rajeev Kumar from Barasat courts on anticipatory bail plea

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Updated: September 17, 2019 10:11:03 PM

The Supreme Court on February 5 had prevented the agency from any coercive action against Kumar and directed him to appear and co-operate in CBI questioning at a "neutral place"

Kumar failed to appear for questioning before the CBI in connection with the case on Tuesday. (File photo)Kumar failed to appear for questioning before the CBI in connection with the case on Tuesday. (File photo)

Former Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Tuesday failed to get relief from the Barasat District and Sessions Court on his anticipatory bail application in the Saradha chitfund case, hours after a special court refused to hear his plea.

Kumar was served a fresh notice by the CBI to appear before it for assisting in the probe in the chitfund case after the Calcutta High Court on September 13 vacated its interim order granting him protection from arrest in the chit-fund case. But the IPS officer did not show up before the agency even on Tuesday.

Sessions judge S Rashidi disposed of Kumar’s anticipatory bail plea and said it has no jurisdiction in the matter as the multi-crore chitfund scam case was registered at Alipore district court.

While the Barasat court is in North 24 Parganas district, the Alipore court is in adjacent South 24 Parganas.

Kumar’s lawyers moved the prayer before the sessions judge after a special court in the district, in charge of trial of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs, refused to hear the petition this morning, saying it does not have jurisdiction to hear anticipatory bail pleas.

It also said Kumar could move the court of Barasat district sessions judge with his application.

Earlier in the day, Kumar failed to appear for questioning before the CBI in connection with the case.

The agency had given him a notice to appear at 10 am but he failed to turn up, sources said.

The CBI had earlier summoned Kumar on May 27 for questioning in connection with the ponzi scam, against which he had moved the high court.

While vacating its interim order granting him protection from arrest, the high court had also rejected Kumar’s prayer for quashing the CBI notice that sought his appearance for interrogation in the case.

A vacation bench had on May 30 granted Kumar protection from arrest and coercive action by the CBI. The protection was extended from time to time until last week.

Kumar, who is currently the West Bengal CID Additional Director General, was part of a Special Investigation Team set up by the state government to investigate the scam, before the Supreme Court handed over the case to CBI in 2014, along with other chit-fund cases.

The chitfund scam was unearthed in 2013 during Kumar’s tenure as the Bidhannagar Police commissioner.

The headquarters of Saradha Group at Midland Park complex was within the jurisdiction of Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate.

Meanwhile, sources said the Central Bureau of Investigation has set up a special team to trace Kumar.

The agency is trying to locate Kumar and has even written to the West Bengal DGP and the chief secretary to instruct Kumar to appear before the probe team, they said.

In January, the Centre and West Bengal government were locked in an unprecedented standoff after a CBI team which reached the residence of Kumar, then Kolkata police commissioner, for questioning him had to retreat as local police detained its officers.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came in the defence of Kumar and started a sit-in protest against the Centre’s move.

The Supreme Court on February 5 had prevented the agency from any coercive action against Kumar and directed him to co-operate with CBI questioning at a “neutral place”.

He was then questioned by the agency for nearly five days at its office in Shillong in February.

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