New Delhi, Feb. Feb 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court here on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief to file an affidavit stating “full facts” of the alleged “incomplete and incorrect” information furnished by the former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar relating to the evidence collected by the state SIT investigating the Saradha chit fund scam before the court handed it over to the CBI.
“We are of the view that it is obligatory on the part of the CBI to give full facts, which will throw light on the Kolkata Police Commissioner (now former) furnishing incomplete and incorrect information” to the CBI, stated the Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
The court asked CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla to file the affidavit. The next hearing will be on March 26.
The court ordered Shukla to state all the facts after it declined to accept as “correct” the oral submissions made to that affect by the Attorney General (AG) K.K. Venugopal and Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta as it insisted that it would adjudicate the matter.
The court had asked the AG and the SG that the Kolkata Police Commissioner had then given the call data record (CDR) in June 2018 and they knocked the door of the top court alleging contempt only now after February 3, 2019, in an apparent reference to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s sit-in demonstration outside the CBI office in Kolkata.
“We are concerned with the pace of investigation after it was given to the CBI. How the state police has scuttled the investigation”, CJI Gogoi said asking the AG to “point out particular acts of the state police or its officers, which amounted to non-compliance of its orders. Please show us what they have done in violation of this court’s order.”
The court is hearing a plea by the CBI seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the West Bengal Chief Secretary, Deputy General of Police (DGP) former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar for not co-operating with it in the investigation of the Saradha chit fund scam and holding back the evidence initially collected by the state SIT before probe was handed over to it.
The AG narrated the sequence of events when the CBI officials were prevented from doing their work, were manhandled, pushed in a van, taken to a police station and kept in custody and their mobile phones were snatched.
Recounting the near blocking and virtually confining of the CBI Additional Director at Kolkata, Venugopal told the court this amounted to violation of the court’s order asking the state police to co-operate with the CBI in the investigation of the scam.
Apparently not persuaded, Gogoi asked: “It was (Kolkata Police Commissioner furnishing CDR) in June 2018, what prevented you from coming to the court earlier. What did you do from June 2018.”
As Solicitor General Mehta told the bench they went to service provider who in turn said they needed permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs to share CDR. By the time all this was sorted out it was November 2018.
SG said CDR given by the Kolkata Police Commissioner was “tampered, doctored and material evidence was destroyed.” He told the court CDR given to the CBI by Kolkata Police Commission contained records of 50 calls, which they later discovered had 75.
As senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for West Bengal wanted to make a submission, Gogoi said: “We understand your anxiety but that is not a ground for addressing the court.”