Saradha scam: SC seeks credible evidence against Ex-Kolkata top cop

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the CBI to produce evidence to its satisfaction to revoke an earlier order barring custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha scam.

The court said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has to prove before the court that Kumar had a role to play in either suppression or disappearance of evidence in the case.

The apex court on February 5 granted Kumar protection from arrest and directed him to appear before the CBI in connection with the investigation into the scam in Shillong.

It also sought direct evidence from the CBI on Kumar’s involvement, especially the data on laptop, mobile phones, or diaries which allegedly contained information on payments made to influential people in ensuring destruction of evidence.

Saying an affidavit was not enough, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi added: “Give us, show us from records that this person is involved… On what basis? You can give us evidence tomorrow.”

The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended before the court that the West Bengal government made payments to Tara TV, which was owned by the key accused in the scam.

Mehta told the court that Kumar, the then Deputy Commissioner of Arnab Ghosh and the Investigating Officer in-charge of the initial probe, collaborated in the destruction of evidence.

Mehta told the court that the CBI needed to interrogate Kumar, as under his watch vital piece of information in the case, has gone missing.

“State Police had seized cash books and diaries, which according to a witness contained crucial information on people who were paid in the scam… But it is not clear to the CBI whether it was seized or not… Mobile details were crucial material evidence, but it was destroyed,” said Mehta, summing-up his argument on established the utility of Kumar’s arrest in the scam.

Mehta reiterated that if Kumar were to have helped the CBI with details on the evidence, during his interaction with the agency in Shillong, then it would not have rushed for his arrest.

However, the bench queried Mehta on whether the CBI team go to Kumar’s residence with a search memo, to which he replied “no”.

The court has sought the CBI’s response on how did Kumar did not cooperate with the agency.

Closing the arguments, bench said CBI must show the link between Kumar and destruction of the material evidence. “Show us something that he is involved.”