Kolkata: Senior IPS officer Rajeev Kumar on Saturday eluded the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which had summoned him to appear to face questionning in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam following the withdrawal of his protection from arrest by the Calcutta high court. Sending an email from an undisclosed location in hibernation he however begged for one month time from the CBI for his appearance.
The CBI is however not in a mood to accept his plea. The former Kolkata Police Commissioner, under the scanner over the allegations against him of tampering evidence in the high-profile case when he headed the special investigation team (SIT) of the Mamata Banerjee government to probe the chit fund scam, was directed by the CBI to present himself at 10 am at its office in CGO Complex of Salt Lake for his questionning.
In the morning CBI joint director Sai Manohar also reached the city from New Delhi to supervise his questionning session. The CBI waited for nearly five hours but Mr Kumar did not turn up. Skipping his appearance, he later emailed to the CBI praying for 30 days’ time, according to sources.
Mr Kumar, who is now posted as the additional director general of police of the criminal investigation department of the West Bengal Police, cited the illness of his wife, an income tax officer posted now in Rajasthan, in his email as the purpose of his plea, sources claimed. In the afternoon a CBI team led by joint director (East) Pankaj Srivastava met the agency’s lawyer Y J Dastur at his residence in south Kolkata.
CBI deputy superintendent of police Tathagata Bardhan who is also the Chief Investigating Officer in the Saradha case was present at the meeting where Mr Kumar’s plea was discussed during one and half-an-hour. The CBI has not responded to Mr Kumar’s appeal so far. It suspects the former Kolkata Police chief of trying to buy time only to move the Supreme Court on Monday seeking relief from arrest.
After the meeting Mr Srivastava said, “We are consulting our lawyer for next course of action which we however can not reveal now.”
He added that all the papers would be scrutinised. The CBI, which searched for Mr Kumar all through Friday night, failed to get his trace. It is not ruling out his presence in the city but at a secret location. It has found his mobile phone switched off. His security personnel also could not be contacted on his cellphone suggesting that he would also be accompanying him. The CBI learnt that Mr Kumar, who is claimed to have been on leave till September 25, however visited his office at CID Headquarters in Bhawani Bhavan on Friday afternoon. He reached there at around 1 pm before leaving 2.45 pm.