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Saradha chit fund scam: Former Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar seeks more time to appear before CBI

File photo: Kolkata’s ex-police chief Rajeev Kumar with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Photograph:( IANS )

WION Kolkata, West Bengal, India Sep 14, 2019, 10.46 PM (IST) Written By: Pooja Mehta

Former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar sought more time to appear before CBI in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam on Saturday.

Kumar, whose protection from custodial interrogation was withdrawn by the Calcutta High Court on Friday, was served another notice by the CBI to appear before them on Saturday at 10 am for questioning.

However, Kumar skipped the summons and did not appear before CBI.

Sources in the CBI claimed that Kumar sent an e-mail seeking more time to appear before them.

"We have received an email where he was seeking more time. We cannot share what reason he has stated," said a source in the CBI.

Kumar could not be reached for a comment as his phone remained switched off throughout the day.

While on one hand, security was strengthened outside Kumar’s Kolkata residence – 34, Park Street, CBI officers are considering to take legal action against him.

A team comprising Joint Director CBI, Pankaj Srivastava, Superintendent of Police, Partha Mukherjee and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tathagata Vardhan held a meeting with the CBI counsel YJ Dastur at his South Kolkata house. 

Sources said that the CBI officers discussed what legal options could be explored against Kumar after he did not appear before the agency despite the summons.

While leaving the CBI counsel’s residence, the Joint Director Pankaj Srivastava said, "We are studying the documents that we have. I cannot share much. Today, he has not appeared, let us see."

Rajeev Kumar, who is currently the West Bengal CID Additional Director General, was part of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the state government to investigate the scam before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014, along with other chit fund cases.

The Saradha Chit Fund Scam is a multi crore-rupee scam, agencies say it would be around 2,000 crores but both investigating agencies, Enforcement Directorate and CBI are yet to conclude the exact amount of the chit fund scam. The scam duped lakhs of people in the state promising higher rates of returns on their investments.