Setback to Mamata government, Supreme Court directs Kolkata police chief to appear before CBI

In what many are regarding as a setback to the Mamata Banerjee government, Supreme Court on Tuesday morning directed Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to the appear before the CBI and cooperate with them in the investigation. The interrogation of Rajeev Kumar will take place at Shillong, Meghalaya, a venue both the parties considered to be neutral and away from any sort of influence.

CBI has accused the Kolkata police chief of “doctoring evidence” and shielding the accused. The CBI told the Supreme Court that Rajeev Kumar’s investigation “shielded guilty companies” and there was “inaction, selective action and a nexus” between the police and the accused companies. The evidence handed over by the team “is not complete and it was doctored”, the CBI added in its affidavit listing allegations against the Kolkata police chief.

The Kolkata police chief is at the heart of a huge showdown between the CBI and Mamata Banerjee, who is on Day 3 of her indefinite protest sit-in provoked by a CBI team door-stepping Rajeev Kumar on Sunday evening to question him on “missing evidence” in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund cases. Several members of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress have been arrested in the cases, which were probed by a Special Investigation Team led by Rajeev Kumar.

The CBI went to the Supreme Court on Monday, after its team that arrived at Rajeev Kumar’s Kolkata home was blocked by the police, bundled into buses and detained for a few hours. The dramatic developments on Sunday evening led to Mamata Banerjee launching an indefinite sit-in to protest against the CBI’s action against her police chief, calling it a “constitutional breakdown”.

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