The Delhi High Court has rejected former Union finance minister P Chidambaram's anticipatory plea for protection from arrest in the INX Media case. Chidambaram has moved SC over the order.
Justice Sunil Gaur, who delivered the judgment on Tuesday, had reserved the order on January 25. "Both the petitions (in CBI and ED case) are dismissed," said Justice Gaur.
After the court pronounced the order, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Chidambaram, sought stay on the operation of the order for three days, to which the court said that it will consider the request and will pass order on it.
During the arguments, both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had opposed Chidambaram's plea on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required as he was evasive during questioning.
Following the rejection of the anticipatory bail plea, P Chidambram lawyers are likely to approach the Supreme Court.
High Court said facts reveal that Chidambaram is the kingpin, the key conspirator in the INX Media case. The court is of prima facie opinion that custodial interrogation of Chidambaram is required for an effective investigation in the case.
"It is a classic case of money laundering and granting bail in such case will send the wrong message to the society," said the court while reserving the order.
CHIDAMBARAM MOVES SC
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order rejecting his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case.
Chidambaram's lawyer Kapil Sibal asked the apex court to put up the matter before the Chief Justice as soon as possible.
Chidambaram's lawyer Kapil Sibal appealed that the matter be mentioned before Court 1 (of the Chief Justice) but the court had adjourned for the day.
Sibal was asked by Supreme Court official to place Chidambaram's petition before Registrar (judicial) who will take call for putting it before the Chief Justice of India.
SC has denied an urgent hearing on the case for Tuesday.
Chidambaram asked to mention his appeal tomorrow at 10:30 am in the Supreme Court. His legal team will have to mention the plea before court 3 for urgent hearing tomorrow.
WHAT IS THE CASE
In 2007, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered an FIR alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.
Based on the FIR, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against him.
Chidambaram's son Karti has also been named in the two cases. He was arrested on February 28, 2018 by the CBI and was later released on bail. The ED had attached properties belonging to him.
On July 4, a Delhi court had allowed Indrani Mukerjea, the former head of the INX Media, to turn an approver in the CBI case. The agency had submitted that it has come across evidence in the form of conversations which only Indrani Mukerjea is privy to and will help consolidate the case.
(With PTI inputs)