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Posted at: Feb 5, 2019, 6:40 AM; last updated: Feb 5, 2019, 10:35 AM (IST)

Kolkata CP will regret if proof destroyed: SC

Kolkata CP will regret if proof destroyed: SC

Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 4

The Supreme Court today warned Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar of strict action if it was found that he tried to destroy evidence relating to the Saradha chit fund scam case in West Bengal after the CBI said it apprehended “destruction of electronic evidence”.

“If the police commissioner is even remotely trying to destroy evidence, we will come down so heavily on him that he will regret,” said a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta demanded urgent hearing citing apprehension of destruction of evidence.

“You (SG) show us evidence,” the court said. The Bench, however, turned down Mehta’s request to take up CBI’s plea against Kumar today itself and instead posted it for hearing tomorrow. The Bench, which also included Justice Sanjiv Khanna, noted that there was no shred of evidence in the agency’s applications about tampering with evidence. However, it said it was open for the CBI or any other party to produce any material/evidence on affidavits to show that any West Bengal civil or police official was trying to destroy evidence.

Earlier, seeking urgent hearing of the issue, Mehta said an “extraordinary situation” had arisen after what happened yesterday in Kolkata. He alleged that CBI officials were arrested by the West Bengal Police when they went to Kumar's residence for collection of evidence.

He said the residence of CBI Joint Director (East) Pankaj Shrivastav was surrounded by the state police and his family was made hostage and even the CBI office at the CGO complex, Kolkata, was under siege.

Mehta said the Kolkata police chief had not responded to the CBI's repeated summons to join the probe and “when our team reached his residence, they were arrested”.

However, on being asked by the CJI, he clarified that they were no longer under arrest. But he said FIRs were being registered by the state police against CBI officials on a regular basis.

The CBI has filed two interim applications — the first seeking a direction to the Kolkata Police Commissioner to immediately surrender and refrain from tampering with evidence; and the second demanding initiation of contempt of court proceedings against him for allegedly obstructing probe into a case assigned to it by the top court.

Mehta sought to highlight the fact that top police officials of West Bengal were on a dharna with activists of a political party. 

Mehta said CBI officials wanted to approach the court last night itself, but it was decided to wait till today morning for want of access to official records. 

On behalf of Kumar, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the CBI plea, terming it a political witchhunt. He said Kumar was not an accused and the Calcutta High Court had passed an order in his favour.

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