INX Media Case: No relief for Chidambaram from SC, CJI to take final call on bail plea
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked former Union minister P Chidambaram to approach the Chief Justice of India with his petition challenging the Delhi High Court’s Tuesday order which rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case.
Top court judge Justice NV Ramana sent the senior Congress leader’s plea seeking interim bail before CJI Ranjan Gogoi to pass the order. Justice Ramana said that he cannot pass the order straight away as this is a case of "monumental money laundering".
Also, Chidambaram's plea was reportedly termed as 'defective' by the top court bench which asked his legal team to re-file an error free petition before the CJI.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate issued lookout notice against Chidambaram, after the agency failed to trace him after visiting his residence three times since Tuesday evening.
A lookout notice means that Chidambaram cannot leave the country. All aiports, immigration desks have been put on high alert.
The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday refused to grant any protection to Chidambaram from arrest by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
Holding that the INX media scam was a "classic case of money laundering", the court said the twin facts which have weighed to deny pre-arrest bail to Chidambaram are "gravity" of the offence and "evasive" replies given by him to questions put to him while he was under protective cover extended to him by the court.
He had failed to get an audience from Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday for urgent hearing of his appeal in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order dismissing his anticipatory bail plea.
A team of lawyers led by senior advocate and Chidambaram's party colleague Kapil Sibal was told by the registrar (judicial) to mention the petition Wednesday morning in the apex court.
Ever since the Delhi High Court passed the order on Tuesday, the CBI has visited Chidambaram's home in South Delhi's Jor Baghh three times. On Tuesday, the CBI issued a notice to him asking him to appear before the investigation officer "within two hours", after failing to find him at his residence.
The team, which had some superintendent of police-rank officials, did not make clear if they had gone to his residence to arrest him for alleged irregularities in foreign investment clearance to INX Media during his tenure as finance minister.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.
Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta