In Setback to CBI, Calcutta HC Grants Anticipatory Bail to Rajeev Kumar in Saradha Chit Fund Case

Calcutta High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail on Rs 50,000 bond to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in Saradha chit fund scam case following the conclusion of hearing on Monday. Pronouncing its judgement, the court said that this is not an appropriate case for custodial interrogation.

The court further directed the former top cop to appear before the CBI whenever he is summoned and instructed the investigating agency to provide a prior notice of 48 hours to him.

On Monday, CBI lawyer Y J Dastoor had concluded his submissions opposing Kumar´s pre-arrest bail plea before a division bench comprising justices S Munshi and S Dasgupta. The bench, which heard the proceedings ´in-camera´, adjourned the matter for the day after the CBI lawyer concluded his submissions. Kumar´s lawyers had concluded their arguments in favour of his pre-arrest bail plea on Thursday before the division bench.

A pre-arrest bail plea by Kumar was earlier rejected by the Alipore District and Sessions Court on September 21.

The central probe agency has given multiple notices to Kumar, who is currently the Additional Director General in the West Bengal Crime Investigation Department (CID), to appear before it for questioning as a witness in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. He, however, did not appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and sought more time on every occasion.

The Saradha group of companies allegedly duped lakhs of people to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore, promising higher rates of return on their investments. Kumar, currently the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Additional Director General (ADG), was part of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the state government to investigate the scam before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014, along with other chit fund cases.

An official estimate says Saradha had mopped up about Rs. 1,200 crore through its chit funds, but some calculations put that the figure closer to Rs. 4,000 crore. The company collapsed in April 2013.


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