In what is being seen as a big setback for Karti Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant anticipatory bail to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son. While denying interim relief to Karti, the apex court posted the matter for further hearing on March 8. The SC verdict comes in response to Karti challenging the summons by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media money laundering case. The top court has also asked the ED and the CBI to respond to Karti’s petition stating violation of his constitutional rights.
Earlier, Karti Chidambaram, in his writ petition, sought to quash the ED summons against him claiming that the agency has no jurisdiction to issue such summons based on the FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Congress leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal is representing Karti Chidambaram in the case. However, the SC has given its nod to the ED actions.
Meanwhile, Karti’s case is also being heard in the Patiala House court where the CBI is seeking for his 8-day custody alleging that Karti is uncooperative in the investigation. Even if the special court grants him bail, the ED may forward an application to arrest him. As per TV reports, the ED officials are already present in the court where Karti Chidambaram is undergoing his hearing. Thereby, relief for Karti seems highly unlikely as of now.
Earlier, on February 23, the apex court refused to stay the summons issued by the ED against Karti. The ED had registered a case against Karti under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Karti is accused of accepting bribe and exert his influence on P Chidambaram, the then finance minister, to flex the FIPB norms and allow more FDI to the INX media company.
The Congress has called the whole case a ‘fabrication’ and said that the BJP is using the central investigating bodies for political vendetta.