The questioning of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, accused for his alleged role in destroying evidence related to the Saradha chit fund scam, will resume this morning at the CBI office in Shillong. Mr Kumar was questioned by the CBI for over eight hours yesterday.
Today, the agency may confront him with former Trinamool parliamentarian Kunal Ghosh who has been asked to appear at the CBI office for questioning in person in connection with the case, CBI sources told NDTV.
Quoting officials, news agency PTI reported that three senior CBI officers questioned Mr Kumar for nearly nine hours about his alleged role in the tampering of crucial evidence in the scam. Mr Kumar’s questioning began at around 11 am, and went on until 7.30 pm. The CBI has not released details of the interrogation yet. The police official’s counsel, however, said that he is “cooperating and complying” with the CBI. “He (Kumar) has come here on the orders of the Supreme Court. He has complied earlier and he is complying now as per the orders,” Mr Kumar’s counsel Biswajit Deb, who is also the Trinamool Congress coordinator for Meghalaya, was quoted by news agency as saying.
The CBI is relying on a 91-page letter from Mr Ghosh, who was expelled by Trinamool, to the Enforcement Directorate, detailing the role of Mr Kumar in handling the investigations in the chit fund scam. Mr Kumar began investigations after the main accused, Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee, both promoters of Saradha Group of companies, had fled to Kashmir, officials said in Kolkata. They were arrested in 2013 from Kashmir.
Mr Ghosh has named BJP leader Mukul Roy, who was once the most trusted man of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, and 12 others in the Saradha scam.
The Supreme Court had fixed Shillong as the venue for his interrogation, saying that its “neutral” status will prevent unnecessary controversy.
Accompanied by three high-ranking officers of the Kolkata Police, Mr Kumar has been lodged at a top hotel in the city. A CBI team from Delhi arrived in Shillong to question him.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had directed the Kolkata Police Commissioner to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate with the probe into cases related to the Saradha chit fund scam. It had, however, stated in no certain terms that Mr Kumar was not to be arrested.
The CBI has alleged in the Supreme Court that Mr Kumar, who led the probe by a special investigation team into the Saradha chit fund scam, tampered with electronic evidence and handed over documents to the agency — some of which had been “doctored”.
A major controversy had broken out last week, when a team of CBI officers went to Mr Kumar’s residence to question him but faced stiff resistance from the Kolkata police. Following this, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staged a three-day protest to “save the Constitution”.
The central investigating agency had said that it wanted to question Mr Kumar to plug the holes in the Saradha investigation case as he was supposed to be in possession of certain key documents as a member of the special investigation team.
With inputs from PTI