Kolkata: As drama continues in West Bengal over an unexpected visit of the CBI officers to Kolkata, the central agency plans to drag the state government to the Supreme Court. The agency’s interim boss, M Nageswara Rao, said that the West Bengal police aren’t cooperating, therefore, “we will approach the Supreme Court on Monday”.
“Did we commit any crime?” Mr Rao said.
The high-profile agency will inform the Supreme Court about the non-cooperation of the Bengal government and its police, sources said. The CBI has accused the West Bengal government of impeding investigation of a Supreme Court-ordered probe into two Ponzi schemes and is expected to demand action against the state government and its police.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is sitting on dharna following a fierce attack on the centre, accusing it of orchestrating a CBI team’s visit to the Kolkata top cop’s home. The Kolkata police refused to let the CBI officers enter and temporarily detained them at a police station.
“The CBI will tell the top court that detention and harassment of its officers carrying out the probe is indicative of the state government’s scant regard to the rule of law,” sources said.
The CBI team had come to question Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar after he allegedly ignored summons from the agency on two Ponzi schemes. After media reports that Mr Kumar was “absconding” and he was facing arrest by the CBI, the Kolkata police said they will take action over the “defamation” by media houses.
Rajeev Kumar — who headed a Special Investigation Team probing the Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi scams that surfaced in 2013 — was asked to help with the investigation after several key documents allegedly went missing. Over the last two years he had received several summons for questioning.
An angry Mamata Banerjee held a press meet in the evening at Rajeev Kumar’s home where she lamented over the “complete constitutional breakdown”. She lashed out at the centre for misusing the central agencies and demanded to know how could they come to a police commissioner’s home “without a warrant”.
But the CBI’s Joint Director Pankaj Srivastava said they did not need any order or warrant as it was a top court-ordered investigation.
The opposition parties have conveyed to Mamata Banerjee that they are with her in this fight against the centre.