SC dismisses ex-Kolkata CP’s plea seeking extension of arrest protection

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar seeking extension of protection from arrest in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam case. Kumar was earlier granted protection from arrest by the apex court for seven days which ended on Friday.
A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said Kumar can approach the Calcutta High Court or the trial court there for seeking relief.
At the outset, the bench told Kumar’s counsel that a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had already passed an order in the matter and later the CJI had also declined urgent listing of an application filed by the IPS officer seeking extension of protection from arrest.
When Sunil Fernandes, who was representing Kumar, said the courts in Kolkata are not functioning due to ongoing lawyers’ strike, the bench said, “You are wrong. The courts are sitting there. All judges are sitting in courts and they are hearing litigants. Your client is a former commissioner of police and he knows the law better than many young lawyers. He can personally go to courts there.’’
The bench also said that Kumar’s fresh writ petition has wrongly been listed before it since the CJI-led bench had already passed an order in the matter.
Fernandes told the bench that they will approach the CJI but the problem was that protection from arrest granted to Kumar is expiring on Friday.
“What can be done? Do we have the jurisdiction to hear this? Your problem may be anything but your petition under Article 32 is not maintainable,” the bench said.
“You have already moved an application for extension of protection before the CJI. Do you want harsh comment from us? It is not proper for you to file the petition and then request for urgent listing when the CJI had already declined urgent listing of your applications. Don’t misuse our generosity like this,” the bench said.
On May 17, a three-judge bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar by its February 5 order.
However, the court had said his protection would continue for seven days from May 17 to enable him to approach the competent court for relief.
On May 20, Kumar had moved the apex court seeking an extension of the seven-day protection granted in view of lawyers’ strike in Kolkata.
However, the court had said since the May-17 order was passed, Kumar’s counsel can approach the apex court registry or the secretary general for listing of the matter before an appropriate bench. (PTI)

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