New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI and faithfully co-operate in the probe into the Saradha chit fund scam but said he must not be arrested.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) must not resort to any coercive action, including arresting the officer. Investigation would take place at a neutral place -- in Shillong. .

The court also sought responses from the West Bengal Chief Secretary, the Director General of Police and Rajeev Kumar on a contempt petition moved on Monday by the CBI along with the one asking for direction to Rajeev Kumar to surrender for questioning.

During the hearing, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal described the situation as "a total breakdown of constitutional machinery" and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta highlighted that CBI personnel were detained at a police station.

Appearing for the Kolkata Police Commissioner, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court: "They have asked for surrender when no offence is made out. "Rajeev Kumar is vilified.

He has written to the CBI to meet at a neutral place where the entire SIT will be there to be questioned," Singhvi told the court. Justice Gogoi said: "The problem with you is you assume too many things. What is your problem, you can cooperate."

The next hearing will be on February 20. (IANS)

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