INX Media case: Interim relief to Chidambaram against ED arrest till Sept 5

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram after he was produced in a CBI court in the INX media case, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit in a sealed envelope all those documents, which the probe agency wanted the court to peruse, in connection with former finance minister P Chidambaram’s role in the alleged discrepancies in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals for INX Media. The ED is seeking custodial interrogation of the Congress leader, claiming that he had been evasive in his replies to the probe agency whenever he was called for questioning. In its plea before the top court, the ED said that it needed custodial interrogation of Chidambaram to unearth “a larger conspiracy” of money laundering in the INX Media case.

 

“I have materials to show that laundering of money continued after 2009 and even today (in the INX Media case)," Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, told a two-judge Bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna. Mehta added that the ED would want to interrogate the former Union minister without the “protective umbrella” of anticipatory bail.

 

The apex court on Thursday reserved its order in the matter, after hearing senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram, and Mehta, appearing for the ED, for four days. The court said it would pronounce its order on September 5 and until then the protective cover from arrest by the ED for Chidambaram would continue.

‘Good news’ for Indrani

 

“His (Chidambaram) arrest is good news. He is now cornered”- Indrani Mukerjea, approver in the case against P Chidambaram and his son Karti.

 

The former Union Minister continues to remain the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Though his custody with CBI ends on Friday, Chidambaram through his counsels told the apex court that was ready to remain in the custody of probe agency till September 2. The court, however, refused to comment on the same.

 

A two-judge Bench of the apex court is hearing a plea moved by Chidambaram, who has challenged the August 20 judgment of the Delhi High Court, which denied him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED.



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