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Saradha chit fund scam: Supreme Court rejects ex-Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar plea seeking extension of seven days protection from arrest

Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. Photograph:( Agencies )

WION Web Team Kolkata, West Bengal, India May 21, 2019, 01.22 PM (IST)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to set up a special Bench to hear the plea of former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar who sought an extension of the seven-day protection against arrest in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case, ANI reported. 

Kumar had sought an extension of the time due to strike by lawyers in Kolkata.

Rajeev Kumar’s protection that began on May 17, will end on Friday – May 24.

On Monday, Kumar had approached the apex court seeking an extension of seven days of protection from arrest given to him by the apex court. In his petition before the SC, Kumar has cited strike of lawyers in West Bengal as the reason for the extension.

Earlier on Friday, the SC had vacated its order granting protection from arrest to former Kolkata police commissioner in the Saradha chit fund scam case. The SC, however, ruled that its February 5 order granting interim protection to Kumar will continue for seven days from Friday. An SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also allowed Kumar to seek bail from a competent court and directed the CBI to follow the law of land in this case.

Talking to media, one of Kumar's advocates said that as per the SC order, the CBI cannot arrest Kumar in the next seven days. "We have withdrawn the protection given to Rajeev Kumar vide order dated February 5," the court said while pronouncing the order. Justice Sanjiv Khanna, who was also part of the bench headed by the CJI and Justice Deepak Gupta, had passed the judgment.

Pronouncing the operative part of the order, Justice Khanna had said, "We are leaving it to the CBI to act in accordance with the law. Our February 5 order will continue for seven days from today to enable Rajeev Kumar to approach the competent court for relief. We have expressed our concern as to what has happened in the matter."

The CBI has accused Kumar of tampering with the evidence in Saradha chit fund scam in order to protect politicians. It is interesting to note that the SC had also expressed concern on February 5 over the manner in which the chit fund scam case has been handled. "We would withdraw the protection given to Mr Rajeev Kumar, former Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, vide our order dated February 5, 2019 restraining the CBI from arresting him and thereby, leave it open to the CBI to act in accordance with the law," an SC bench comprising CJI Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had said.