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Notice For P Chidambaram Facing Arrest; No Court Relief For Now

P Chidambaram is accused of facilitating foreign investment in a media company as Finance Minister in the Congress-led UPA government at the instance of his son Mr. Karti.
Former union minister P Chidambaram, with investigating agencies on his track, appeared unlikely to get any legal relief today with the Supreme Court refusing an urgent hearing on his request for anticipatory bail. The Enforcement Directorate has put out a lookout circular for Mr. P Chidambaram, who has not been seen since the High Court denied him protection from arrest on Tuesday August 2, after which the CBI visited his home in Delhi twice.
Senior lawyer and Congress leader Mr. Kapil Sibal told a three-judge bench that Mr. Chidambaram was ready to guarantee he would not run away but the hearing was not listed over what appeared to be a technicality.
Arguing against Mr Chidambaram’s request for protection from arrest, the CBI told the top court,”It is a monumental magnitude of money laundering case.”
“Sorry, Mr. Sibal, we cannot hear the matter,” said Justices NV Ramana, M Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi. The judge, this morning forwarded his petition to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Mr. Sibal said Mr. Chidambaram’s case was not listed today as the Chief Justice was sitting in the constitution hearing the Ayodhya case.

Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader Mr. P Chidambaram also faces allegations of corruption.

Mr. Sibal said the lookout notice, which means Mr. Chidambaram will not be allowed to leave the country – had been issued as if he would run away.
In his petition before the Supreme Court, Mr. Chidambaram argued that his antecedents are “impeccable” and there is no possibility of him “fleeing from justice”. Requesting more time to appear before the CBI, he further asks for interim relief “or else he would suffer irreparable loss”.
Mr. Chidambaram has been away from his home during visits by the CBI since yesterday. Around midnight on Tuesday, the CBI pasted a notice outside his house asking the former Finance Minister to appear before it within two hours of receiving the note.

“The petitioner is a law-abiding citizen and has reputation to sustain in the society. He is a sitting Member of the Rajya Sabha. The antecedents of the Petitioner are impeccable. He has never been an accused of any offence. There is no possibility of his fleeing from justice,” Mr.Chidambaram’s petition said,in addition to it, “custodial interrogation is not at all warranted”.
Mr. P Chidambaram is accused of facilitating foreign investment in the INX Media company in 2007, as Finance Minister in the Congress-led UPA government, on behalf of his son Karti, who allegedly received kickbacks and setbacks for his role.

Rejecting Mr. Chidambaram’s request for anticipatory bail, the Delhi High Court yesterday, said “prima facie”, the facts of the case revealed that the “petitioner is the key conspirator in the case”.
Calling it a classic case of money laundering, Justice Sunil Gaur said, “It was pertinently observed that the economic crimes of such mammoth scale are craftily planned and executed. This grant of bail in cases like instant one will send a wrong message to the society herein .”

Soon after the order, a CBI team of six officers showed up at Mr. Chidambaram’s house at Jor Bagh in South Delhi. After few hours, the team left and another team from the Enforcement Directorate arrived.

Mr. Chidambaram’s lawyer has asked the CBI not to take any “coercive action” until the hearing of Supreme Court on his petition for bail.

 

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