New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram was on Friday granted protection from arrest by the Supreme Court in the money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case.
However, Chidambaram will continue to be in custody as the apex court, did not intervene in the CBI case in which he has been sent for custodial interrogation of the agency till 26 August. A bench comprising justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna posted both the matters for hearing on Monday, 26 August.
The hearing witnessed an exchange of words between prosecution counsel and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate and Chidambaram’s party colleagues Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi. SG Mehta vehemently opposed the order granting protection from arrest to Chidambaram in the money laundering case registered by the ED.
A Delhi court on Friday refused to adjourn the Aircel-Maxis case against former Union finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in the pleas by CBI and ED, which sought the adjournment saying that another case pertaining to INX Media involving them was pending before the Supreme Court. Special Judge OP Saini took strong objection to the agencies seeking repeated adjournments, saying “things have become very embarrassing for me”.
The court then reserved order on Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail application for 3 September extending the interim protection from arrest to them till then. It, however, gave liberty to CBI and ED to argue anytime before that date.”I do not find any merit in the application of agencies to adjourn the matter. Why you (CBI, ED) asking adjournments day after day? You are making such arguments for a year.
“Thing have become very embarrassing for me. You have been seeking adjournment day after day. Put up for orders for 3 September. They can argue before that whenever they may argue,” the court said. It said that both the matters Aircel Maxis and INX Media were different. On agencies’ argument that both cases involved FIPB approvals, the court said there were hundreds were such matters.