#CBIvsKolkataPolice: Nothing substantial in application to show that evidence being destroyed, remarks CJI; asks CBI to bring evidence on record

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]UPREME Court has today, February 4, 2019 agreed to hear tomorrow, February 5, 2019, the application filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleging obstruction on the part of the West Bengal government in probing the chit-fund investigation thereof was handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court in May 9, 2014.

Appearing for the CBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted the following before a two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna:

  • Unprecedented situation has arisen in the State.
  • CBI officials were kept in captivity by the Kolkata Police
  • Police Commissioner Kolkata Rajiv Kumar is a potential accused in chit-fund scam case
  • CBI apprehends destruction of electronic evidences. Despite four summons issued to Rajiv Kumar, he did not turn up before the CBI team.
  • Police officials of West Bengal government are sitting on dharna with the Chief Minister.
  • Present application seeks direction to Rajiv Kumar, Police Commissioner, Kolkata to immediately surrender/make himself available before the CBI and to direct him to faithfully cooperate with the investigating agency namely CBI.
  • CBI will also be moving contempt petition against West Bengal government
  • Hear the matter today itself.

CJI Gogoi remarked that he had read the application filed by the CBI, but could not find anything substantial to show that the evidence are being destroyed. However, CJI asked SG Mehta to place the evidence on record to substantiate that West Bengal authorities are tampering with evidences.

At the same time, CJI Gogoi also made it clear that even if Police Commissioner Kolkata is remotely thinking to destroy the evidence, court will come down so heavily on him that he would regret. The application filed by the CBI would be listed tomorrow at 10:30 AM, said CJI Gogoi.

On the other hand, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted that all the questions asked for by the CBI have duly been answered by the state government.

The present episode arose after a CBI team reached Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence to ‘examine’ him but was detained. Banerjee rushed to the commissioner’s house and after a marathon meeting with all senior police officials, announced the dharna against ‘the blatant use of central police agencies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah to silence the opposition.

Pertinently, the Calcutta High Court had on December 6, 2018 put the summons issued against the Police Commissioner of Kolkata in abeyance. The same order was extended on last date of hearing i.e. December 12, 2018. Yet the CBI attempted to barge into the residence of Police Commissioner.

In addition, lawyers representing the State of West Bengal have told The Leaflet that the application doing the rounds on social media has nevertheless been not sent to the West Bengal government standing counsel.

The Leaflet