SC to hear Chidambaram's plea against HC order denying him bail today

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 is scheduled to hear on Monday former Union finance minister P Chidambaram's pleas challenging the Delhi High Court's order which denied him anticipatory bail in the INX Media money-laundering and corruption cases.

A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi is also scheduled to hear a fresh plea of Chidambaram in which he has challenged the arrest warrant issued against him and the trial court's order remanding him to CBI custody till Monday in the INX Media corruption case.

On Friday, the apex court had granted protection from arrest till Monday to Chidambaram in the money-laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.

The court has sought replies from ED on Chidambaram's plea and directed that all the three matters should be listed on Monday.

Chidambaram has contended that it is violation of his fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution, that his petition challenging the high court order was not heard by the apex court on July 20 and 21 and he was arrested on the August 21 night.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, had said that lot of "hue and cry" and "political vendetta" is alleged by the petitioner (Chidambaram) and his party colleagues but "I am saying with a great sense of responsibility that this is a case of money laundering of a monumental magnitude".

"CBI has recorded statement of Indrani Mukherjea, which will be tested in the trial, that she and her husband Peter had gone to Chidambaram for FIPB approval and he (Chidambaram) had asked them to take care of his son," Mehta had argued.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearances granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.

Thereafter, the ED lodged a money-laundering case in 2017.

Chidambaram was arrested on August 21 night from his Jor Bagh residence by the CBI in the corruption case and was produced before a trial court on August 22, which remanded him to four-day CBI custody till August 26.



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