Monday, 30th October 2017

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Supreme Court asks Rajeev Kumar to seek bail in Bengal

Kumar’s interim protection from arrest in a Saradha case ends on Friday night

By TT Bureau in New Delhi
  • Published 25.05.19, 4:09 AM
  • Updated 25.05.19, 4:09 AM
  • a min read
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Rajeev Kumar The Telegraph picture

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected former Calcutta police commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s plea for anticipatory bail and advised him to personally argue his case when he cited a strike by lawyers in Bengal.

Kumar’s interim protection from arrest in a Saradha case ends on Friday night.

The bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Bhushan Gavai and Surya Kant cautioned Kumar’s counsel Sunil Fernandes that it would have to pass “harsh remarks” if he went on pleading for the top court to decide the matter.

When Kumar’s counsel cited the lawyers’ strike in Bengal, Justice Mishra said: “No, you are wrong. You can go to the high court. You can go to any other court there. The courts are functional.

“All the judges are sitting and hearing the litigants. Your client is holding the rank of an additional director-general of police. He can go to the court there in person and appear. He knows the law better than many young lawyers.”

The lawyers’ ceasework has hobbled Bengal’s courts since April 25. In Calcutta, Kumar’s case brought out fissures among lawyers, with one section keen to end their strike and another opposing such a move. Late in the evening, an official of the West Bengal Bar Council said the lawyers’ ceasework had been suspended till September 2. 

By then, Kumar had moved a court in Barasat for anticipatory bail but the petition was rejected on technical grounds. But he has the liberty to file a fresh petition without mistakes.

CBI sources said the agency, which is investigating the scam and accuses Kumar of tampering with evidence, would challenge any bail plea. “We want his custodial interrogation,” a CBI officer said.

In the Supreme Court, Justice Mishra reminded the counsel how Kumar’s plea for more time had been rejected on the administrative side and yet he had approached the court again.