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Will come down heavily on Kolkata Police chief if he thinks of destroying evidence, says Supreme Court

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 04, 2019, 11.17 AM (IST)

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday turned down central government's plea for hearing on the alleged destruction of electronic evidence related to the Saradha chit fund scam case by the Kolkata Police Commissioner.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, told the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjeev Khanna, "Extraordinary situation has arrived. The CBI office was under siege. Evidence (electronic) has been destroyed, we've issued four summons to the commissioner. On a daily basis, FIRs are being registered against CBI officers. We are also filing a contempt petition. He should immediately surrender and we have certain things to point out."

The court, however, declined the plea of the Solicitor General to hear the two applications on Monday in the post-lunch session. "We have gone through your application, there's nothing in it," the CJI said posting the matter for hearing on Tuesday.

At the same time, the bench said it is open for the Solicitor General or any other party to lay before the court any material or evidence to show that any West Bengal authority or police official is planning or trying to destroy evidence related to the case.

"If Kolkata Police Commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret," the bench said.

The top court said all material or evidence has to be placed before it by means of affidavit.

An all-out war broke out between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government on Sunday, with the feisty West Bengal leader beginning the sit-in protest over CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scams.

Some road restrictions have been imposed in the Metro Cinema area in the heart of West Bengal's capital Kolkata where the sit-in is being held.

The Trinamool Congress chief said she would not attend the Assembly, where the state budget would be placed by Finance Minister Amit Mitra, on Monday.

Insisting that it the CBI stifled the spirit of "Constitution and federalism", Banerjee claimed that the investigation agency knocked on the doors of Kumar without a search warrant.

Banerjee, one of the prime movers behind the effort to cobble together an anti-BJP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah want to impose President's Rule in whatever states the opposition is in power.

Other politicians such as Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister M Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav spoke to Banerjee on Sunday night and vowed support to her protest.