Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for former Kolkata Commissioner of Police (CP) Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha scam case submitted before the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the whole episode of the CBI insisting on Kumar’s arrest is a political game to keep the pot boiling and paint people black.
During the second consecutive hearing in the case, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi asked the CBI to produce the case diary. After observing the papers, the court said the case diary is in the form of loose sheets of paper which are vulnerable to tampering, and, instead, should be properly bound as mandatorily required.
“Should not CBI follow the mandate of the law with regards to the case diary…..in fact case diary should have been uploaded ” the court said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said there is prima facie evidence regarding the destruction of evidence in the scam and, therefore, custodial interrogation of Kumar is required.
The court observed: “Many countries in the world do not allow custodial interrogation..”
Kumar had earlier filed an affidavit directly accusing the CBI of acting at the behest of two BJP leaders – Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayavargiya – while targeting him in the Sharadha and Rose Valley scams.
Singhvi contended before the court that the CBI had never filed an FIR regarding the destruction of evidence in the scam, but the agency was now demanding Kumar’s arrest. The investigation in the scam was handed over to the CBI in May 2014.
Singhvi told the court that five years after the handing over of the case, the CBI is suddenly seeking Kumar’s arrest.
He said that all the electronic evidence in the case had been handed over.
“Kumar had thrice appeared before the CBI regarding the investigations into the scam….but the demand for his arrest was propped up after the incident, in February, ” he added.
The court pointed out that the investigating officer in the case has recorded a statement under Section 161 before a Magistrate, and sought a response on it from Kumar’s counsel .
Singhvi said that they had already filed an affidavit, but the court demanded a response on the statement recorded before a judge.
Senior advocate Indira Jaisingh intervened and sought the court’s attention, to which the CJI asked her as to who she represented. Jaisingh said she is representing Kumar in his personal capacity, while Singhvi is representing the former Commissioner of Police.
The apex court will continue to hear the matter on Thursday.