Supreme Court order on Kolkata top cop: Mamata Banerjee, BJP claim moral victory

NEW DELHI: Both West Bengal Chief MInister Mamata Banerjee and the BJP claimed moral victory over the Supreme Court order on the contempt petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Saradha chit fund scam case on Tuesday.

Hearing into the matter, the Supreme Court asked Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before CBI and cooperate fully in the case.

The Supreme Court asked the Kolkata police commissioner to appear before CBI at a neutral place in Shillong.

While directing Kumar to appear before CBI at a neutral place in capital of Meghalaya, the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, however, said the federal investigative agency could not arrest him.

Soon after the Supreme Court’s order, both Mamata Banerjee and the BJP welcomed it and claimed that it was moral victory.

Mamata Banerjee

She said, “We welcome the Supreme Court verdict.”

On the Supreme Court order that no coercive steps would be taken against Rajeev Kumar, Mamata Banerjee said, “It is a moral victory. We have great respect for the judiciary and all institutions. We are so grateful. We’re so obliged.”

She said Rajeev Kumar never said he would not be available. “He said we want to meet at mutual place. If you want to ask for any clarification, you can come and we can sit,” she was quoted as saying.

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s order, Mamata Banerjee said that commissioner Kumar never excused himself from participating in the probe. She alleged that CBI wanted to arrest Kumar.

She said, “They went to his house, on a secret operation, on Sunday, without any notice. But the court said ‘no arrest’. We are so obliged. It will strengthen the morale of the officers.”


On the other hand, BJP called the verdict a big victory for CBI.

Talking to mediapersons soon after the Supreme Court’s order, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad claimed it was a “great victory” for probity, propriety and fight against corruption.

“Today is a great moral victory of CBI. It will go to the root of the matter.”

Prasad said the Kolkata police commissioner will have to appear before CBI and contempt notices have been issued to top officials of West Bengal.

He was referring to the Supreme Court directing the West Bengal chief secretary and DGP to reply to the contempt petition filed by CBI by February 18.

The minister said the Supreme Court would take a call on the personal presence of the chief secretary, DGP and Kumar after going through their responses during February 20 hearing.

Prasad said the larger issue was Mamata Banerjee getting unnerved with the immense response that the BJP leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were getting in West Bengal.

“Why the PM was allotted a smaller ground for his public meeting and why were the rallies of BJP president and the UP CM were cancelled are the questions?” he said.

Senior lawyer and BJP leader Nalin Kohli said tghe CJI bench ordered that Kumar would make himself available in the light of prayer of the application of CBI to join the investigation, make himself available and cooperate fully. The SC pointed out that no coercive steps would be taken.

He further said it has also been made clear by SC that personal appearance, after filing of replies, of concerned officers might be required and it would be communicated by the secretary general of the court on February 19, if such appearance is required on February 20.

The Supreme Court said that though it has dispensed with the personal appearance of the West Bengal chief secretary, director general of police (DGP) and the Kolkata police commissioner, it would take a call on their personal presence in court after going through their responses during February 20 hearing.

Source: Times of India


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