Kumar visited the venue in the morning after the apex court’s direction on Tuesday morning.
Kolkata: Declaring her “moral victory”, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has hailed the Supreme Court’s direction to Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his questioning in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam at a “neutral place.”
She, however, sounded relieved over the top court’s instruction to the CBI that it cannot take any coercive action, including arrest, against Mr Kumar. Rallying support behind the city police chief, the Trinamul Congress supremo also dismissed the Union home ministry’s order to her government to initiate a departmental inquiry against Mr Kumar for allegedly violating the All India Service Rules and discipline via his pre-sence at Ms Banerjee’s sit-in dharna at Metro Cha-nnel in Esplanade on more than one occasion since February 3.
Significantly, Mr Kumar visited the venue in the morning after the apex court’s direction on Tuesday morning. In a surprising move he also wrote a letter seeking an appointment with the new CBI director Rishi Kumar Shukla on February 8, according to sources.
Welcoming the SC ruling, Ms Banerjee told the media, “It is a moral victory. It is also a victory of our people, democracy, Constitution and country. We have total faith in the judiciary, which has been upheld only. We are so obliged to the SC that it has ordered that Mr Kumar cannot be arrested. The other charges incl-uding the CBI’s contempt plea against us have been rejected by the apex court.”
She added, “We have highest respect for the Chief Justice of India and judges of the SC and high court.” She, however, complained that the CBI has been taking away the accused to Bhubaneswar in Odisha after arresting them. “It is a new trend. It happened in the cases of two of our MPs, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Pal and a journalist, Sum-an Chattopadhyay,” she alleged.
On the selection of Shillong as the “neutral place” for questioning of Mr Kumar by the CBI, Ms Banerjee noted, “We have no objection. It was Mr Kumar who wanted the ta-lks to be held at a neutral place. If you want to ask some clarification, you can come and we can sit. But they (CBI) went to his house on a ‘secret operation’ without any notice.”