Justice L Nageshwar Rao has recused himself from the hearing of the contempt plea filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Supreme Court against the West Bengal authorities in the Saradha Chit Fund case.
The matter was listed before a Bench of CJI Gogoi, Justice L Nageshwar Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. The hearing of the plea was adjourned when the Bench informed that one of the judges was not inclined to hear the matter. Justice Rao refused to be part of the bench hearing the case citing the reason that he had represented the State of West Bengal in a case earlier. The case will now be heard on February 27.
In the contempt plea, the CBI has alleged that the State authorities obstructed the probe in the multi-crore chit fund scam.
In separate affidavits filed on February 18 by the West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De, DGP Virendra Kumar, and Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar respectively in the Supreme Court rendering an unconditional and unambiguous apology, they had denied the charge of obstructing the probe in the scam.
The plea was filed in the wake of the scuffle between the West Bengal government and the CBI after the CBI officials who had gone to interrogate the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar were detained by the Kolkata police. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal had sat on Dharna in support of Kumar.
In their affidavits, the trio has reportedly maintained that at no point of time had the West Bengal police and the state government tried to obstruct the investigation. They stated that the CBI officials had tried to enter Rajeev Kumar’s residence without valid papers.
They have also maintained that no police official, in uniform or otherwise, was at no point of times was present at the dharna venue with the CM.
The SC had ordered Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI for questioning in Shillong.