The Leaflet

| @theleaflet_in | February 5,2019

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India Rajan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna today, February 5, 2019, has directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI and cooperate with the investigation. The Supreme Court has also made it clear that no coercive action including arrest will be made by CBI.

On the contempt petition filed by the CBI, Supreme Court has issued notice to Police Commissioner of Kolkata, the Chief Secretary and the DGP of West Bengal. They have been asked to file reply by February 20, 2019.

The Court has also said a neutral place, Shillong, will be where the CBI would question Rajeev Kumar.

 

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 dharana 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.

Appearing for the CBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on February 4, 219 had 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 had remarked that he had read the application filed by the CBI, but could not find anything substantial to show that evidences are being destroyed. However, CJI asked SG Mehta to place the evidence on record to substantiate that West Bengal authorities are tampering with evidence.

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.

Read order.

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