The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any protection to Congress leader P Chidambaram from arrest by the CBI and the ED.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s lawyer has asked the CBI under what law his client has been asked to appear before it within two hours in connection with INX Media case. Arshdeep Singh Khurana, Chidambaram’s lawyer, said that his client has been permitted by the Supreme Court to mention the urgent special leave petition against the Delhi High Court’s order before the court at 10:30 am on Wednesday. He requested the central probe agency not to take any coercive action against Chidambaram before the hearing in the apex court.
“I am instructed to state that your notice fails to mention the provision of law under which my client has been issued a notice to appear within two hours,” Khurana told reporters soon after the CBI pasted a notice outside the Congress leader’s Jor Bagh residence ordering him to appear before it within two hours.
Khurana said that Chidambaram is exercising the rights available to him in law and had approached the Supreme Court in the evening on Tuesday seeking urgent relief after his anticipatory bail application was dismissed by the High Court.
After Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail application in the INX Media case was rejected by the Delhi High Court, the CBI and Enforcement Directorate teams visited his residence around 6:30 PM, but the leader didn’t show up. They left the premises after confirming that Chidambaram was not present at the address. Another team of the CBI visited the house later to paste the notice.
“Whereas it appears that you are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case noted below, which I am now investigating under Chapter 12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, you are hereby directed to attend before me within two hours of the receipt of this notice for the purpose of investigation of the case,” the notice reads.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any protection to Chidambaram from arrest by the CBI and the ED. Delhi High Court’s Justice Sunil Gaur said that “facts of the case prima facie reveal that the petitioner is the kingpin, that is, the key conspirator in this case”. Later, Chidambaram moved the Supreme Court but failed to get an audience from Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for urgent hearing of his appeal. A team of lawyers led by senior advocate and Chidambaram’s party colleague Kapil Sibal was told by the registrar to mention the petition on Wednesday morning.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as Finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has termed action against Chidambaram as BJP’s political vendetta against the opposition.
“Unrelenting, insidious and vindictive persecution of P Chidambaram and his family is an insult to the rule of law as it stands constituted in a Democracy. Those who sow the wind eventually reap the whirlwind. Hubris of ignorance and arrogance is a deadly cocktail. Vendetta never pays,” Congress leader Manish Tewari said in a tweet.