HC Gives Rajeev Kumar Protection From Arrest Till July 10

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Kolkata: Calcutta High Court on Thursday granted former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, now under the CBI scanner in connection with the multi-billion rupee Saradha ponzi scam, protection from arrest till July 10 but asked him to cooperate with the investigation agency and deposit his passport.

A vacation bench of Justice Pratik Banerjee granted the relief to Kumar after he submitted a petition peading for quashing of the notice served on him by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with an allegation of suppression of facts in the ponzi scam case.
The bench gave Kumar a month’s protection from arrest from June 10, the date on which the court is set to reopen after the summer holidays.

He has been asked to deposit his passport within 24 hours of the passing of the order and be present before the CBI whenever the agency needs his cooperation. A designated CBI officer would visit Kumar’s residence daily to mark his attendance.

The petition would be heard by a regular bench on June 12. Kumar on Monday did not present himself before the CBI, which had summoned him for questioning related to the scam, but instead sent a letter seeking seven days’ time to present himself.

The CBI on Sunday gave notices at Kumar’s residence and his office summoning him to be present at its Salt Lake office at 10.30 a.m. on Monday for interrogation. The notices came after they failed to locate him.

The CBI has also issued a lookout notice against the senior IPS officer and alerted all airports to scuttle any effort on his party to escape abroad. The Supreme Court on May 17 had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar by its February 5 order.

But the court gave him seven days time to approach the competent court for relief. Kumar last Monday had moved a plea before the apex judiciary seeking extension of the protection from arrest in view of the lawyers’ strike in Kolkata, but the court rejected it on May 24, the same day the seven-day time frame given to him for seeking legal recourse ended.