CBI begins day-2 of questioning Rajeev Kumar: Details here
After a gruelling eight hour-long questioning session on Saturday, the CBI, on Sunday, commenced questioning Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar again in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. Notably, former TMC MP Kunal Ghosh, who had earlier claimed Kumar's role in the scam, had also been asked to be present during the second day of the questioning session. Here's more.
For those unaware, Kumar had been the head of the special investigation team (SIT) probing the Saradha chit scam before the Supreme Court transferred the case to the CBI. Ghosh, for his part, had earlier claimed that Kumar had been active in all aspects of the SIT probe, and the CBI is likely to question Kumar about Ghosh's statements.
For the same, the CBI will refer to a 91-page letter sent to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by Ghosh, who was expelled by the TMC. In the letter, Ghosh had explained in detail the role of Kumar in handling the investigation into the chit fund scam after the main accused in the case, Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee, fled to Kashmir. Sen and Mukherjee were arrested in 2013.
A ten-member team constituted by CBI to probe chit fund scams is questioning Kumar in Shillong. The officials, who hail from New Delhi, Bhopal, and Lucknow, were briefed about the Saradha chit fund case in detail by senior CBI officials before they headed out. The team is being led by the CBI Joint Director for the Eastern Region Pankaj Srivastava.
In its submission to the Supreme Court, the CBI has alleged that Kumar "destroyed and tampered with" call records of those accused in the Saradha case, apart from holding back evidence. The agency has also claimed that Kumar committed offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. Kumar, however, has repeatedly denied the allegations.
A major controversy had broken out last week when the CBI attempted to raid Kumar's residence, but the Kolkata Police stopped them. The CBI team was then briefly detained and let off. Subsequently, Mamata Banerjee began an indefinite dharna against the Center, but called it off later after the SC directed that Kumar could be questioned on "neutral" grounds, but no coercive action could be taken against him.