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Supreme Court gives P. Chidambaram Interim Protection in INX Case

Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim protection from arrest, till August 26, to former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

“We are inclined to continue his interim protection in the Enforcement Directorate. He had interim protection from arrest before as well,” a bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi said.

The court also observed that his son Karti Chidambaram, who is co-accused in the case and others were out on bail.

However, the senior Chidambaram will remain in CBI custody till August 26 as the top court did not interfere in that matter.

However, Chidambaram also challenged the trial court order awarding four-day CBI custody during the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea moved by him in two cases connected to INX media.

Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED case will be listed on Monday before the Supreme Court bench to examine the legality of handing his custody to the agencies concerned.

During the arguments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the agencies have recovered digital evidence establishing e-mail exchanges in connection with money laundering and stashing away of illegitimate money.

“Prime facie it is established that shell companies were created abroad by the people having close association with Chidambaram…these persons also executed a will in the name of the grand-daughter of Chidambaram. We need to investigate and confront him with the piece of information,” he said.

Mehta also pointed to the high probability of the will having been destroyed.

Pressing for custodial interrogation in the money laundering case, he also told the court that investigations have revealed that 10 immovable and 17 bank accounts in foreign countries have direct links with Chidambaram. He also said that Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval was given under the signature of Chidambaram.

Arguing in favour of custodial interrogation of P. Chidambaram , Mehta submitted that there are certain individuals who will “never divulge the truth if they are under the protective umbrella of anticipatory bail”.

He added that the gravity of the offence has been acknowledged by the Delhi High Court.

At the end of the hearing, Mehta attempted to hand over a sealed envelope, which he claimed, contains crucial evidence to establish Chidambaram’s culpability in the case. The court, however, refused to accept it and listed both matters for hearing on Monday.

The Delhi High Court had, on August 20, dismissed the former Finance Minister’s anticipatory bail pleas in both the CBI and the ED cases pertaining to the INX Media money laundering matter.

Chidambaram’s counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal told the court that former minister was granted interim protection by the High Court on July 25, 2018 and the same had been extended subsequently and continued upto August 20. he also told the court that his client was has all along cooperated with the authority in the investigation. (IANS)

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