Millennium Post

File affidavit with details of alleged contempt by WB cops: SC to CBI Dir

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla to file an affidavit giving details about the alleged contempt committed by West Bengal cops and the then Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with Saradha chit fund scam cases.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked the CBI Director to provide information in support of the allegations of tampering and destruction of call data records (CDRs) by Kumar who was then heading the West Bengal SIT. The bench said the affidavit has to be filed within two weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on March 26.

The apex court said the allegations made by the CBI were serious enough and it was an "obligation" on part of the agency to disclose full details of the alleged contempt committed by the then police commissioner.

The Bench passed the order after hearing the submissions of Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who were showered with several questions for delay on the part of CBI to move the apex court when the agency allegedly noticed the tampering of electronic evidence in June 2018.

The probe agency came out with a contempt petition after the February 3 incident in which the CBI sleuths, who had gone to probe the then Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar at his residence were taken into custody and manhandled by the West Bengal Police. Though the apex court took note of the February 3 incident in which the top cops of the state police allegedly sat with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on dharna, it was annoyed as to why the CBI did not bring to its notice the tampering of the CDRs when it happened in June 2018.

"We want to go step by step. You said it happened in June 2018. If it happened, it is serious. What did you do since June 2018. What stopped you from coming to this court when you yourself said that this happened in June 2018," the bench said.

"Don't you think the matter is serious enough to take confidence of the court. Is it not subversion of rule of law. All this happened in June 2018," the bench asked the law officers and went ahead "was it not your obligation to inform this court".

In the order, the bench said "considering the submissions made by the Attorney General and the Solicitor General, we are of the view it obligatory on the part of the CBI to disclose full facts of the acts on the part of the (then) Kolkata Police Commissioner in furnishing the CDRs.

"Attorney General as well as the Solicitor General has relied upon the arguments of tampering with the CDRs to convince this court to accept their statement that incomplete and incorrect CDRs were provided by Rajeev Kumar (Then Kolkata Police Commissioner)."

Further, the bench said: "We are not in a position to act on the basis of oral submissions. Rather we would require full and complete information by way of affidavit by an officer no less than Director, CBI."

The Solicitor General replied saying that notice was sent to Kumar and the agency also analysed the CDRs and found that there were tampering with it and also CDRs were doctored.

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