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CBI forms five member team to grill Kolkata top cop in chit fund cases

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New Delhi, Feb 06: The Central Bureau of Investigation has formed a five member team to grill Kolkata Police Commissioner, Rajeev Kumar in connection with the various chit fund cases.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar

The team would be headed by Tathagata Bardhan, an officer of the DSP rank in CBI. Kumar had written to the CBI that he would be available for questioning on February 8.

Kolkata top cop to appear before CBI at Shillong on Friday

Following this a series of meetings were held at the CBI's Lodhi Road office in which the details of the questioning were discussed. While Kumar has suggested that he would be available on February 8, the CBI is yet to take a final call on the date.

While directing the commissioner, Rajeev Kumar to cooperate, the SC said that he will meet the CBI at Shillong, a neutral place.

The court ordered that there would be no coercive steps including an arrest of Kumar.

The CBI told the Supreme Court that the Kolkata Police protected chit fund firms which donated to the TMC.

The court also issued contempt notices to the West Bengal Chief Secretary, DGP and Kolkata Police Commissioner. They have been asked to reply by February 18. Based on their replies the Secretary General of the SC will intimate them whether they would have to personally appear before the court. The next date of hearing has been fixed for February 20.

Earlier the CBI filed additional documents to support its claim that Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar is under investigation. The CBI also told the court that the the SIT, which was headed by Kumar failed to act against Saradha and Rose Valley as these companies made huge contributions to the TMC.

The Attorney General of India, K K Venugopal told the court that the Kolkata Police Commissioner was the functional head of the West Bengal formed SIT. When the SC transferred the probe to the CBI, we found that Kumar had not given al the documents.

Some of them were even doctored. We called him to explain this, but he never came, the AG also said.

CBI vs Bengal: Did Rajeev Kumar, withhold or destroy evidence?

The AG further said that Kumar had handed over doctored call records. He erased information on who was called and who had called, the AG further said. There should be no difficulty for him to cooperate, the CJI also said.

The CJI orally observed that the court would direct Kumar to make himself available. On the contempt plea, the court said that it would issue notice.

The AG went on to add that the contempt is far more serious. CBI officers were pushed into buses, detained in police station for hours. The joint director's house was laid siege. Who was behind these actions and who had issued orders, the AG also asked.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the West Bengal government said that Rajeev Kumar has been vilified. He had written to the CBI several times to meet at a neutral place where the entire SIT team would be questioned. The CJI however shot back and said, ' the problem is you assume too many things. What is your problem? You can cooperate.

On Monday, the Central Bureau of Investigation sought for an urgent hearing after its officers were detained by the West Bengal police, while attempting to probe into chit fund scams.

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