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Former Kolkata police chief moves SC for protection from arrest

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Monday moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking protection from arrest by the CBI in the Saradha scam chit fund case.

With the top court last week granting seven days to Kumar to approach the competent court for legal remedies, Kumar’s counsel told the vacation bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Sanjiv Khanna that the matter requires urgent listing, as lawyers in Kolkata courts are currently on strike.

The counsel said that time is running out for his client and in the wake of this strike, Kumar may eventually miss the deadline. Therefore, the seven-day period is not enough, and more time is required, the counsel argued.

The court, however, told the counsel since the earlier order was passed by a three-judge bench, it will be appropriate to approach the court’s Registrar General for setting up of such a bench. The court told the counsel that the CJI is the master of the roster.

On May 17, the Supreme Court had vacated the interim protection from arrest by the CBI granted to Kumar on February 5.

The investigating agency has accused Kumar of tampering with the evidence in the chit fund scam to shield powerful politicians.

The court has expressed concern over the manner in which the chit fund scam case has panned out, while vacating its February 5 order.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had said: “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.”

The court, however, granted seven days to Kumar for appropriate legal remedies. “At the same time, we direct that the interim order dated February 5, 2019 would continue for a period of seven days from the date of pronouncement of this order to enable Kumar to approach competent court for relief, if so advised,” it said.



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