SC Rejects Chidambaram’s Plea for Immediate Relief from Arrest by CBI & ED In INX Media Case: Look Out Notice Issued By Probe Agencies

AS former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s lawyers on Wednesday, August 21 failed to persuade the Supreme Court for his immediate protection from custodial arrest in the INX Media case sought by the Enforcement Directorate and CBI, ED has issued a lookout notice barring him from travelling abroad. He remains untraceable .Responding to the plea moved by his lawyer seeking relief from arrest, Justice NV Ramana said he could not issue any order straight away, He would refer the case file to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogol. He said that it cannot pass an order on Chidambaram’s plea that seeks an urgent hearing and also seeks interim relief against Delhi HC cancelling his anticipatory bail. He would forward the case file to CJI since this is a case related to ‘monumental money laundering’ and has further directed Chidambaram’s lawyers to complete the necessary formalities in the meantime. As the senior Congress leader appeared to face arrest in the case, Senior lawyer and Congress leader Salman Khurshid, on being asked ‘how do you see the CBI action?’, says Extremely unfair.  Investigating agencies have been on Chidambaram’s trail after a court yesterday denied him protection from arrest in a case in which he is accused of facilitating, as the country’s Finance Minister, a huge infusion of foreign funds in the company INX Media, at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for his role.  Congress Party’s General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said

“ An extremely qualified and respected member of the Rajya Sabha,Chidambaramji  has served our nation with loyalty for decades including as Finance Minister & Home Minister. He unhesitatingly speaks truth to power and exposes the failures of this government.

THE team of CBI after failing to trace former Home and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader at his New Delhi’s at Jor Bagh residence on Tuesday, had left putting a notice on the wall directing him to appear before the probe agency .The team had arrived at his South Delhi residence following the Delhi High Court rejecting his bail plea in the INX Media case. He had allegedly taken a bribe of 65 crore from the company for allowing foreign direct investment of 305 crore INR. He chaired a meet of FIPB to go ahead with the foreign investment. Indrani Mukherjea, who was founder-CEO of the then TV channel, has turned approver and recorded her statement implicating him and alleged that she had handed over the bribe to his son Karti as directed by then FM for facilitating the deal.

 Chidambaram suffered a major setback Tuesday, August 20 as the Delhi HC dismissed his anticipatory bail in the INX Media scam, paving way for the investigating agencies, CBI and ED, to arrest him. 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. Chidambaram suffered a major setback Tuesday (August 20) as the Delhi HC dismissed his anticipatory bail in the INX Media scam, paving way for the investigating agencies, CBI and ED, to arrest him. 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. With the HC rejecting his request for protection from arrest, Chidambaram faces arrest in the case. Late on Tuesday evening, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) visited Chidambaram’s home and left a notice, asking him to present himself at the agency’s office within two hours of seeing it.

Chidambaram is accused of facilitating the government’s clearance for huge injection of foreign funds to the television company INX Media as Finance Minister in the UPA government for which his son Karti Chidambaram allegedly received kickbacks. Interestingly, incumbent Director of the Enforcement Directorate, SK Mishra, also worked under Chidambaram when he was Home Minister. Mishra was transferred back to his parent cadre reportedly due to differences with Chidambaram.

If arrested, Mr Chidambaram will be the first senior leader of the Congress to be netted by investigating agencies. None of the leaders accused in other corruption cases – including the 2G scam and the telecom scam, which provided the BJP its hugely successful anti-corruption plank in the 2014 national elections – have been found guilty yet.

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