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CBI fails to get NBW; court gives green light for Rajeev Kumar's arrest

CBI fails to get NBW; court gives green light for Rajeev Kumars arrest

New Delhi: After a three-day battle to get a non-bailable warrant (NBW) for the arrest of Rajeev Kumar, the Alipore court on Thursday night denied the CBI's request but also remarked that the central agency does not need a warrant to arrest the former Kolkata Police Commissioner under section 41 of the CrPC.

The court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Alipore also said that the CBI has full right to arrest Kumar and that the agency can approach the court if it is "manhandled" while trying to perform its duties.

However, with the Central Bureau of Investigation desperately trying to locate Kumar around Kolkata, sources in the know said that officials are looking at places the former Kolkata top cop is suspected to be found. The agency is yet to locate him, with officials here saying, "We are searching for him and are in the process of tracing his location. We want him to join the probe." Sources here said that the CBI has also written to the DGP of West Bengal Police on Thursday, asking for Kumar's "active" contact number, most likely in a bid to trace his location.

The CBI's search for his "active" contact number is in line with how the agency had tried to locate former Finance Minister P Chidambaram before his arrest in the INX Media case, not long ago.

According to sources in the know, agency officials had kept tracing Chidambaram's phone to his Jor Bagh home even though he was himself not there.

CBI sources had said at the time that he most likely left his phone with his driver who took it back to the residence, while Chidambaram himself had gone underground for a couple of days, thus leading CBI officials to the residence every time they tried to locate him through his phone.

On Thursday, officials of the central probe agency visited several places in Kolkata looking for Kumar, including the IPS Mess, Kolkata Airport and his official residence at 34, Park Street, where the CBI also posted a notice, asking him to appear before agency officials at 11 am on Friday.

Interestingly, this fourth summons by the CBI since the Calcutta High Court lifted Kumar's arrest shield last Friday, has been issued under section 160 of the CrPC, which means he has been asked to join the probe as a witness and not an accused. Despite this, the CBI argued to get an arrest warrant for the IPS officer at the Alipore court on grounds of evasion of summons, while Kumar's lawyer said that his client is willing to join the probe but cannot do so at the moment because he is on leave till September 25. The CBI had been pursuing an arrest warrant against Kumar in the Saradha chit fund case for three days, with both the Special court in Barasat and the Barasat District court having earlier denied the CBI's application on grounds of not having jurisdiction to issue a warrant.

Abhinay Lakshman

Abhinay Lakshman

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