Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar destroyed, tampered with evidence: CBI tells Supreme Court

The CBI said Kumar is prima facie guilty of having committed criminal offences and has not coordinated in spite of the summons being issued. 

Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar destroyed, tampered with evidence: CBI tells Supreme Court

New Delhi: The CBI on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who was leading the SIT in the Saradha chit fund scam, destroyed, destructed and tampered with material evidence in the form of call detail records (CDRs) of the prime accused and potential accused persons.

The agency said a strong prima facie case of Kumar having committed offences both under Prevention of Corruption Act and other IPC offences has been made out.

The agency also claimed that companies like Shardha, Rose Valley and Tower Group had given huge contributions to the Trinamool Congress.

The CBI, which filed an additional affidavit in pursuance to Monday's order, said in spite of continuous insistence and follow up by it, Kumar furnished only CDRs of the prime accused on June 28, 2018. 

"The CDRs of the accused, when analysed by the CBI, were found to be tampered, doctored and the material evidence had been destroyed," it said.

Claiming that the SIT is under investigation as it was conniving with accused and potential accused to subvert the investigating process, the affidavit said there are large number of hard discs and other material still in custody of Kumar which he had collected as an investigating officer being the head of the SIT and being the functional head and day-to-day in-charge of SIT.

The CBI alleged that the entire material gathered by Kumar during the initial and crucial stage of investigation was not handed over to the agency which was entrusted with the investigation of the scam by the apex court on May 9, 2014.

"During the investigation by the CBI, it has very strong reason to believe that the said evidence (which is not been parted with by Kumar) is either already tampered with or was about to be tampered when the CBI officials went to the residence of Rajiv Kumar on February 3, 2019.

"The CBI has strong reasons to believe that such an unprecedented act of detaining personnel of central investigating agency by the local state police would otherwise not be required," it said.

The CBI said that while the SIT was conducting the investigation on the directions of the Kolkata High Court, "crucial original, primary and fundamental evidence such as laptops, mobile phones etc.," were handed over to the main accused in the Saradha scam case by the IO of West Bengal Police working under direct supervision of Kumar. 

"It is submitted that the return of crucial evidence to the main accused by the SIT headed by Kumar, despite the regular monitoring by the High Court, clearly shows connivance of the SIT to a larger conspiracy wherein local authorities have obstructed investigation and made attempts to destroy the evidence prior to the transfer of the case to the CBI by this court," the affidavit said.

The CBI said Kumar is prima facie guilty of having committed criminal offences and has not coordinated in spite of the summons being issued. 

"Kumar has also destroyed, destructed and tampered with the material primary evidence in the form of CDRs while handing over the same to the CBI on June 28, 2018," the affidavit said.

The agency made it clear that Kumar is under investigation and "instead of serving the purpose, was conniving with the accused/potential accused persons and was actively subverting the investigation process".

Further the agency said that despite an FIR lodged in 2013 against Rose Valley, the SIT suppressed that fact which resulted in non-registration of regular case by CBI.

"The inaction, selective action, police and chit fund nexus and the functioning of SIT were in fact used to shield the selective companies such as Shardha, Rose Valley and Tower Group etc., which have given huge contributions (even by way of cheques) to the party in power in the State of West Bengal. It is submitted that this can be corroborated by documentary evidence in the form of cheque payments so far investigation has revealed cheque transactions investigation is underway," it said.

The agency said, "It is under the aforesaid circumstances, when the CBI, with a view to honestly and faithfully discharge its duty entrusted to it by this Court, required to question / examine / interrogate Kumar. Since Kumar repeatedly failed to coordinate and neither came for being interrogated nor handed over the investigation material still lying in his custody then the CBI had to go to his residence on 3.2.2019," it said.

The CBI alleged the administration of West Bengal government has exhibited non-cooperation and is preventing the CBI from conducting free and fair investigation.

It said that apart from the evidence which is already destroyed or tampered and the evidence which is in the process of being so destroyed or tampered, the very factum of local police detaining the personnel of the investigating agency discharging its duty entrusted by the court, is serious enough for the top court to take cognisance of.

In the affidavit, the CBI narrated the entire incident of Sunday in which the CBI personnel were taken into custody and the house of its joint director was seized to manifest that there is a complete breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state. 

CBI said that in the light of the above facts and circumstances and evidence collected by the CBI, during the investigation, it had become imperative for the investigating agency to question Kumar. 

The affidavit said that Kumar was not cooperating in the investigation even after he was served with three notice to join the investigation.