New Delhi, April 17 (PTI): Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar alleged in the Supreme Court that he was targeted by CBI in the Saradha Chit fund case due to “mala fide intent” and “conflict of interest” of former interim CBI director M Nageshwara Rao as his family members were under the scanner post-demonetisation.
Kumar alleged that post demonetisation in November 2016, investigation was initiated into some shell companies that prima facie were involved in receiving huge deposits and a FIR was registered.
During the probe of shell companies, role of one firm Agela Mercantiles Pvt Ltd came under the scanner for collecting money from public unauthorisedly, he said, alleging that during further investigation of the case names of wife and daughter of Rao have come to light and the matter is being further probed.
“The mala fide intent of the petitioner/CBI herein especially in light of the fact that February 3, 2019, a Sunday, was the last day in office of the interim CBI Director, is writ large on account of the conflict of interest, in the instant matter,” Kumar said in his 89-page affidavit.
It said that after the demonetisation, on receipt of information, the West Bengal Police initiated investigation into some shell companies that prima facie appeared to be actively involved in a scam, wherein these companies were receiving huge sums of deposits.
“Taking due cognizance, a FIR was registered in this regard, being Bowbazar…dated January 27, 2017. That, during the investigation into the said case, role of one company, namely Agela Mercantiles Pvt Ltd (AMPL) came under the scanner in connection with various dubious transactions and also for collecting money deposits from the public unauthorisedly,” it said.
Kumar claimed that when case of AMPL was further investigated role of wife and daughter of former interim CBI director came into light.
“The details of the same, if required, may be placed before this court in a sealed cover, as the investigation is still ongoing,” it said, adding that the mala fide intent of the CBI especially the Team investigating the Saradha Chit Fund Scam, headed by Rao, is writ large and visible to the naked eye.
Kumar in his affidavit alleged that he has also been targeted by the CBI as part of the larger conspiracy between two BJP leaders in the chit fund case.
He named BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijyawargiya behind the larger conspiracy and told the apex court that an audio clip is available in public domain where they clearly speak of “targeting” a few “senior police officers”.
“The sudden inexplicable turn by the petitioner/CBI in pointing out problems with the investigation and targeting the alleged contemnor seems to be borne out of a larger conspiracy between two senior leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijaywargiya of the BJP, the ruling party at the centre,” the affidavit said. Kumar claimed that he has been targeted due to political vendetta and “this apprehension is corroborated by the contents of an audio clip that was reported widely by the press and electronic media at the time where the said leaders clearly speak of ‘targeting’ a few ‘senior police officers’ of the state”.
Kumar claimed that on February 3, large contingent of CBI personnel arrived at his residence and on being asked to show the relevant search warrant, they were unable to produce any warrant or authorization for such search or for entering the residence premises.
He said that even assuming that if CBI believes that there were some lacunae in investigation conducted by the SIT in the chit fund case, any alleged lapse in investigation does not become a criminal offence until intent can be attributed to such alleged lapse.
With regard to the destruction of evidence, Kumar said that he had handed over no Call Detail Record to the CBI, and the allegations are baseless as he was not in the position on the date of such handing over of such evidence.
“It is further submitted, that the said CDRs were never in the personal custody of the answering respondent herein and was never supposed to be in his custody. By virtue of the procedure laid down by law, seizure, and all materials obtained during search and seizure, remains in the exclusive possession of the concerned Investigating Officer,” he said.
The apex court is scheduled to hear the case on April 22.
The apex court, on February 5, had granted protection from arrest to Kumar while directing him to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperating into the investigation of cases arising out of the scam.
The CBI also sought the court’s directions to examine Kumar and other police officials to recover the material evidence and to investigate into the acts of omission and commission on the part of Bidhan Nagar Police commissionerate and SIT officials in causing concealment of the evidence collected by them during investigation.
Earlier, the apex court had termed as “very very serious” the revelations made by the CBI in its status report relating to the interrogation of Kumar.