Saradha Scam: CBI Issues Fresh Summons To Rajeev Kumar

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Kolkata: After former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar failed to appear before the CBI, which had summoned him for questioning in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, the probe agency on Tuesday issued second summons to him, officials said.

On Monday, Rajeev Kumar sought a week’s time, citing personal reasons, to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers in connection with the case.

A CID official visited the CBI office in Salt Lake and submitted a letter by Rajeev Kumar in which he said he is on a three-day leave and is therefore unable to attend the summon, officials said.

“We waited for Mr Kumar but he did not turn up. We have received a letter from the West Bengal CID regarding his absence,” an official said.

CBI sources said officials were at the Barasat court to pre-empt any attempt by Rajeev Kumar to prevent the agency from interrogating him. Several calls to Rajeev Kumar went unanswered.

Rajeev Kumar was reinstated as the additional director general of CID by the West Bengal government on Sunday night, soon after the model code of conduct was lifted. The CBI had on Sunday summoned the IPS officer after a team of the investigating agency failed to meet him at his residence in connection with the Saradha probe.

On Saturday, the CBI had also issued a lookout notice against Rajeev Kumar to prevent him from leaving the country.

The agency wants custodial interrogation of Rajeev Kumar in connection with the scam as he was heading the police’s special investigation team to probe the case before the CBI took over.

Last month, the CBI had told the Supreme Court that Rajeev Kumar’s custodial interrogation was necessary as he was not cooperating in the probe and was “evasive” and “arrogant” in answering the queries put to him during questioning.

On May 17, the apex court withdrew protection from arrest given to Rajeev Kumar and asked the CBI to proceed as per law. It gave a week’s time to Kumar to approach the competent court for anticipatory bail.

Rajeev Kumar again approached the top court last Monday, seeking an extension of the protection and saying the courts in West Bengal were not functioning due to a lawyers’ strike. His petition was rejected, following which moved an anticipatory bail plea in the Barasat court.

As part of the Rs 2,500 crore scam, the Saradha group of companies duped lakhs of customers, promising higher rates of returns on their investment, the CBI had said.