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Saradha chit fund: SC seeks reply from Vodafone, Airtel on CBI’s plea alleging non-cooperation in the probe

Supreme Court sought reply from Vodafone and Airtel on a plea by the CBI alleging that they were not cooperating with the investigation in the Saradha chit fund case

Supreme Court (social media)
Supreme Court (social media)

PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday sought reply from Vodafone and Airtel on a plea by the CBI alleging that they were not cooperating with the investigation in the Saradha chit fund case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi listed the agency's plea on April 8 after the mobile service providers denied the allegations.

A bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the CBI that there was complete lawlessness and anarchy in West Bengal.

He said recently police tried to arrest a custom officer for checking the baggage of wife of a TMC leader at the international airport in Kolkata.

He said the complete incident was recorded in the CCTV.

The agency had recently filed a status report relating to the interrogation of the then Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the scam.

The apex court had on March 26 termed as "very very serious" the revelations made by the CBI in its status report relating to interrogation of Kumar.

The top court had said that it cannot "close its eyes" if some "very very serious facts" were disclosed to it and directed the agency to file an application seeking appropriate relief against Kumar, who had earlier headed the state SIT to probe the chit fund scam.

The top court had refused to drop the contempt proceedings against the West Bengal DGP, the chief secretary and Kumar.

It was hearing CBI's contempt application against various senior officials of the West Bengal government on the ground of non-cooperation in its probe and alleged tampering of evidence, including call data records (CDRs) of key accused and Saradha group CMD Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee.

The court, which had earlier directed the CBI director to file an affidavit giving details about the alleged contempt committed by West Bengal cops and others in the case, had perused the reply of the CBI chief and the fresh status report, pertaining to quizzing of Kumar.

The agency had earlier alleged non-cooperation on the West Bengal Police for providing incomplete information and tampering with details to the probe agency.

The apex court had said that the allegations made by the CBI were serious enough and it was an "obligation" on part of the agency to disclose full details of the alleged contempt committed by the then police commissioner.

It had questioned the CBI for the delay in moving the apex court when the agency allegedly noticed the tampering of electronic evidence in June 2018.

The probe agency came out with a contempt petition after the February 3 incident in which the CBI sleuths, who had gone to probe Kumar at his residence, were taken into custody and manhandled by the West Bengal Police.

Though the apex court had taken note of the February 3 incident in which the top police officers of the state police allegedly sat with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on dharna, it was annoyed as to why the CBI did not bring to its notice the tampering of the CDRs when it happened in June 2018.

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