SC turns down Chidambaram’s plea; ED issues fresh lookout notice

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is facing threat of arrest in the INX Media case, today failed to get any immediate relief from a Supreme Court bench which said his petition will be put before the Chief Justice of India for considering urgent listing.

Chidambaram’s petition seeking protection from arrest was mentioned before a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, M Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi who said the case will be put before CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

“I am sending it to the Chief Justice of India. He will pass orders,” the bench told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared as lead advocate.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI and ED, told the bench that it was a case of money laundering of ‘monumental magnitude’.

One of the law officers assisting Mehta said, “We are ready and fully prepared to oppose any move by Chidambaram.”
At the outset, Sibal told the apex court that Chidambaram’s plea was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.
He said Chidambaram was granted protection from arrest for more than a year in the INX case lodged by the CBI and ED.

Sibal said the High Court had also refused to grant any protection from arrest to Chidambaram to enable him to approach the apex court.

“The matter should be heard. I (Chidamabaram) should not be arrested in the meanwhile,” Sibal said. He also told the court that at 2 am on Wednesday the probe agencies pasted a notice on Chidambaram’s house that he has to appear before them within two hours.

When Sibal said they have got their petition numbered from the Registry, the bench said, “You finish all formalities.”
Meanwhile, the ED today issued fresh lookout circular against Chidambaram to restrict his movement across land. air and seaports.

Today, the CBI continued its efforts to locate Chidambaram even as the former Union Finance Minister’s legal team asked the agency not to take any coercive action against him as his petition was to be mentioned in the Supreme Court. A team of officials went to the Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh residence this morning looking for him but had to return as he was not present there.

After the Delhi High Court refused to grant any protection from arrest to the former finance minister in the INX media case, the CBI issued a notice to him on Tuesday, asking him to appear before the investigation officer within two hours, after failing to find him at his residence.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today slammed the government over the action of probe agencies against Chidambaram, alleging that he is being ‘hunted down’ as he speaks the truth which is ‘inconvenient to cowards’. Priyanka Gandhi also said that the party stands by Chidambaram. Reports said the Congress has convened an urgent meeting of its senior leaders to discuss Chidambaram issue.

63 Moons…
Chidambaram, who is facing a summons notice from the Bombay High Court in a suit filed by 63 Moons technology company seeking Rs 10,000 crore in damages, has sought a copy of the plaint and other relevant documents from the firm.
The HC on 24 July directed Chidambaram and two bureaucrats to remain present in person or through their lawyers on 15 October to respond to the claims made by the company, formerly known as Financial Technologies Ltd. On 14 August, Chidambaram’s lawyer Nitesh Jain sought a copy of the plaint and all documents that the company has relied upon.
The company’s lawyer, Bhavesh Thakur, on Tuesday said after receiving the letter, a copy of the suit and other relevant documents were sent to Chidambaram.
The company alleged that it was facing continuous ‘targeted and malafide actions’ in the wake of an ‘engineered payment default crisis’ at one of its subsidiaries, the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL). It claimed that the probe by multiple agencies did not find any money trail reaching NSEL, 63 moons and its founder Jignesh Shah. However, the group was targeted as part of a ‘conspiracy’ hatched by Chidambaram and others.


I have not absconded
In a petition filed on his behalf in the Supreme Court, Chidambaram said he does not have the necessity to run
from the case. “When my name is not mentioned in the FIR, why am I denied anticipatory bail,” he mentioned in the petition.

NT Bureau