Apprehensive as the Supreme Court is likely to start hearing CBI’s custodial interrogation plea against ex-Kolkata top cop, Rajeev Kumar, any time soon, Mamata Banerjee’s close aide has gone on a 21 day earned leave, reports Times of India. For those unaware, Rajeev Kumar is the same cop for whom the TMC chief had broken all convention and sat on a dharna to shield him in February 2019.
Paid leave or earned leave is the time allowed away from work for holiday, illness, etc. during which you receive your normal salary.
According to the report by Times Now, Rajeev Kumar’s 21 earned leave began from March 16th, 2021. Kumar was the principal secretary, IT and electronics division of the state government when he proceeded to go on leave.
The CBI wants custodial interrogation of Rajeev Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam case. In 2019, the CBI had issued a lookout notice against Mamata’s close aide, Rajeev Kumar, for his connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case to prevent him from leaving the country. The Saradha scam broke out into the open in 2013 when a Ponzi scheme run by the Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies, collapsed after collecting hundreds of crores from over 15 lakh investors.
In January 2019, the CBI had accused the West Bengal government of obstructing investigations into the scam, claiming that the government machinery has damaged all the evidence. The then Police Commissioner and head of the SIT investigating case, Rajeev Kumar was also accused of destroying the evidence of the Saradha scam.
Next month, in February, a CBI team had reached his residence for interrogation following which they were detained by the Kolkata police. Mamata Banerjee had come out in support of Rajeev Kumar alleging that the CBI is acting at the behest of Prime Minister Modi. Defying all decorum, she even held a dharna that had lasted for almost 72 hours in support of the cop who was being probed for destroying evidence.
Following this, the Supreme Court had ordered the investigation of Rajeev Kumar to be carried on outside the state. He was interrogated for days in Meghalaya’s Shillong along with some other accused in the case.
Mamata’s vehement refusal to let the CBI interrogate Rajeev Kumar and her subsequent theatrics only helped fan the speculations that the government machinery and police top brass were indeed hands in gloves in the numerous chit fund scams that have plagued the state in recent years.