#MamatavsCBI: Mamata calls off dharna; to take-up issue in Delhi
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called off the "Save the Democracy" dharna in Kolkata after three days. She welcomed the Supreme Court order directing the Commissioner of Kolkata Police, Rajeev Kumar, to appear before CBI at Shillong, Meghalaya, a "neutral place". Ending the protest against CBI, the 64-year-old TMC leader said it was a "victory for the Constitution and democracy". Here's more.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata: This dharna (Save the Constitution) is victory for the Constitution and democracy, so, let us end it today. pic.twitter.com/FCZTgCXUg2— ANI (@ANI) February 5, 2019
"The (Supreme) Court gave a positive judgment today. Next week, we will continue to take up the issue in Delhi," Mamata said. The entire episode started when CBI officials attempted to question Rajeev Kumar about Saradha and Rose Valley Chit Fund scams. The SC, hearing CBI's plea against Kumar, directed him to appear before CBI in Shillong, asking him to cooperate in the investigation.
Directing the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the CBI in the scam investigation, the Supreme Court also asked the investigative agency to not take any coercive steps, including an arrest, against Kumar during the investigation. The three-judge bench of the top court led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi also sought Kumar's response by 20 February.
Mamata launched her protest against CBI and PM Modi's "authoritarian regime" in Kolkata on Sunday. It all started after a CBI team visited Rajeev Kumar's residence to interrogate him in connection with Saradha and Rose Valley Chit Fund scams. However, the Kolkata Police barred the CBI team from entering his residence. Instead, the team was taken to a police station, detained, and later released.
Following the incident, CBI moved the SC against the WB government for "obstructing justice". It filed an affidavit, claiming Kumar was "conniving with the accused/potential accused persons" and was "actively subverting the investigation process." On allegations that Kumar was destroying evidence, CJI Gogoi said if the claims are proved, he'll be taught a lesson. CBI was also asked to produce material before the SC.
The CBI wanted to question Kumar, who headed the SIT formed by the WB government to investigate the scams, for "faults" in his probe. However, the SC later transferred the probe to CBI, which alleged that Kumar didn't hand over the complete documents to them. He was repeatedly summoned but didn't respond. So, on Sunday, a CBI team reached Kumar's residence for questioning.