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The apex court on Thursday reserved verdict on a plea by CBI seeking permission to arrest and custodial interrogation of ex-Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for his alleged role in destructing evidence in Saradha chit fund case.

At today’s hearing, a bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta, Sanjeev Khanna was informed by the Senior Adv Indira Jaising appearing for Rajeev Kumar that whatever has been presented by CBI in a sealed cover is a concocted statement.

She further told the bench: “In 2015, this government had awarded him a president’s medal for exemplary services and what has happened between 2015 to 2019 that they want custodial interrogation. Every crimes require a mens rea and there is no criminal intent in this case. Moreover he cannot be made vicariously liable in this case,” while praying for the dismissal of custodial interrogation of Kumar.

“Every year the case with respect to Rajeev Kumar has been changed. He has undergone 40 hours of interrogation and now why is there a necessity to subject him to custodial interrogation. It is only to subject him to media trial. An I.A has been moved in this court asking to vacate the order of this court granting him protection. The CBI has used custodial interrogation several times,” Jaising continued.

Jaising further argued: “When my lord directed me to go for interrogation to Shillong I went for the interrogation which was for 40 hours and therefore nothing remains in this case except the contempt proceedings. When the CBI director filed an affidavit only discrepancies were alleged and for that allegation at the most a departmental enquiry can be made. You cannot circumvent the procedure established by law and ask for custodial interrogation. Till now it is not clear what are the allegations against him and the CBI wants custodial interrogation.

“If the CBI alleges conspiracy then procedure established by law should be adopted and specific charges have to be made. There is a pending chargesheet the CBI should file a supplementary chargesheet if there is any alleged conspiracy. If your lordship will continue to hear the contempt petition then you should continue the protection.”

—India Legal Bureau

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