Cal HC | Saradha Chit Fund case | Interim protection from arrest for WB cop Rajeev Kumar; petition to be heard by regular bench on 12th June

Calcutta High Court: Protik Prakash Banerjee, J. granted interim protection from arrest to Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha Chit Fund case.

The petitioner, Rajeev Kumar, had approached the Court with an application for the quashing of the proceedings against him. The case of the respondent, the Central Bureau of Investigation, was that the petitioner, who was a member and in charge of the special investigation team formed by the State of West Bengal to investigate the Saradha Chit Fund case, had suppressed relevant documents and not handed them over to CBI when he was required to. Thus the CBI had accordingly summoned the petitioner for questioning.

The learned counsel for the petitioner, Sudipto Moitra appearing along with Gopal Chandra Halder, Navanil De, Rudradipta Nandy and Rajeev Kumar Jha, took a plea that notices served to the petitioners did not require custodial interrogation. The learned counsel also submitted that the fact that no FIR was registered against the petitioner and he wasn’t named as an accused or witness in the charge sheet filed by the CBI showed that no coercive process should be continued against the petitioner.

The learned counsel for the respondent, Y. Dastoor appearing along with Anirban Mitra and Samrat Goswami submitted that his client was attempting to ask the petitioner questions so as to decide in the first place, whether there was a reasonable basis to suspect him. The respondent had shown clear neutrality and that is why the petitioner was being given every opportunity to clear doubts against him.

The Court observed that the main question in the case was whether in absence of any allegation of offence under Sections 201, 202 of the Penal Code, 1860, could the given course of conduct be meted out to the petitioner. The Court opined that such a matter required more discussion and hence it was held that the petition would be heard by the regular Bench on 12-06-2019.

The Court further held that for a period of one month from the date of reopening or until further order, whichever was earlier, the petitioner would not be subjected to coercive process or be arrested on certain specified conditions that the petitioner had to adhere to.[Rajeev Kumar v. Central Bureau of Investigation, 2019 SCC OnLine Cal 793, decided on 30-05-2019]

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