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A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to the former city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, saying there was no need for custodial interrogation but directed him to appear for questioning whenever the CBI wanted him.

The petition in the high court was the third application for anticipatory bail by Kumar, who is currently posted as the additional director general of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Bengal Police. He had earlier applied for bail at the district court in North 24 Parganas district that said it did not have jurisdiction, and Judges Court at Alipore had rejected his plea.

Kumar, an IPS officer of 1989 batch is facing a probe for allegedly suppressing evidence and documents in the Saradha ponzi scam and shielding influential persons who illegally benefitted from it.

Kumar was the head of the SIT that was set up by the Mamata Banerjee government in 2013 to investigate the scam. In 2014, CBI took over the case following an order of the Supreme Court.

The Saradha Group ran an unlicensed fund, which went bust in 2013 and wiped out deposits from around 1.8 million, mostly poor, depositors. Ruling Trinamool Congress leaders such as former minister Madan Mitra and former Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh were jailed for their alleged involvement in the politically sensitive scam that entailed deposits of about Rs 2,460 crore.

The CBI has alleged that Kumar has remained untraceable since September 13, when a Calcutta High Court order removed the protective shield he was enjoying.

—India Legal Bureau

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