Saradha chitfund scam: Rajeev Kumar didn’t appear before CBI on frivolous grounds, Calcutta High Court told

The CBI told the Calcutta High Court on Monday that former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar did not appear before it in connection with the probe into the multi-crore Saradha chitfund scam on frivolous grounds. The CBI counsel submitted before Justice Madhumati Mitra that Kumar, who is currently the additional director general of West Bengal CID, had cited several reasons to seek postponement of his date of appearance before the investigating agency. Kumar has moved the high court seeking quashing of a CBI notice, which asked him to appear before it for assisting the agency in the probe into the Saradha chitfund scam. Refuting Kumars claim that he was being singled out for questioning by the agency, CBI lawyer Y J Dastoor submitted that several other senior officers have also been questioned in this regard. The Supreme Court had in May 2014 handed over to CBI the probe into several chitfund scams, including the one by the Sudipta Sen-led Saradha Group, which has duped unsuspecting investors to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore. Kumar was the commissioner of Bidhannagar Police in 2013 when the scam was unearthed. He was also a part of the Special Investigation Team formed by the state government to probe into the allegations against the Saradha Group. The former police commissioners counsel Milan Mukherjee had submitted before the court that he looked after the day-to-day operations of an SIT in 2013, but the CBI did not consider calling him as a witness till October 2017. Dastoor said city police personnel had prevented CBI officers from entering Kumars official residence when he was the Kolkata Police commissioner and even West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on a dharna against the central agencys attempt to question him there. Justice Mitra, after hearing the two sides, adjourned the court for the day.