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Saradha scam: ex-Kolkata CP Rajeev Kumar moves SC

New Delhi: Former Kolkata Police Commissioner (CP) Rajeev Kumar moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking extension of the seven-day protection granted to him by it in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case in view of lawyers’ strike in Kolkata. Kumar’s counsel mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna and said that since lawyers in Kolkata are on strike, the protection granted to the IPS officer should be extended.

The counsel said due to the strike, Kumar was not able to move the competent court for seeking relief and hence, the protection granted to him be counted from the time the strike ends.

The lawyer told the bench that the top court had on May 17 granted seven days’ time to Kumar to approach the competent court for legal remedies but four days have already elapsed and they needed time to approach the competent court there. However, the bench said since the May 17 order was passed by a three-judge bench, Kumar’s counsel can approach the apex court registry or the secretary general for listing of the matter before an appropriate bench.

“You are a lawyer and you know that CJI is the master of roster,” the bench told Kumar’s counsel and asked him to approach the registry for listing of the matter.

On May 17, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar by its February 5 order.

The apex court, on February 5, had granted protection from arrest to Kumar while directing him to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate with investigation of cases arising out of the scam.

The apex court had last week said that protection to Kumar would continue for seven days from May 17 to enable him to approach the competent court for relief. The CBI had earlier told the court that they needed custodial interrogation of Kumar in the case.

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