Chidambaram is ‘prima facie the kingpin’ in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases, says Delhi HC Justice Sunil Gaur n By Shikha Verma and Hary M Pillai
CONGRESS leader P Chidambaram suffered a major setback on Tuesday as the Delhi High Court dismissed his anticipatory bail in the INX Media scam, paving way for the investigating agencies, CBI and ED, to arrest him. The High Court held that he was “prima facie the kingpin” in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases and “simply because he is a Member of Parliament would not justify grant of pre-arrest bail to him”. Holding that the former Union Minister’s custodial interrogation was required for an effective investigation, the High Court said, “granting bail in cases like the instant one will send a wrong message to the society”.
After the High Court denied any relief to him, Chidambaram approached the Supreme Court from where he failed to get any immediate relief and was asked to mention the plea on Wednesday morning. Chidambaram’s legal team consisting of top lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi will approach the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court on Wednesday to seek a stay of the High Court order.
“Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has asked us to appear before the senior-most judge of the top court in the morning tomorrow,” Sibal told reporters after approaching Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in the court. Justice Sunil Gaur, who is due to retire on Thursday, said this court cannot permit the prosecution in this “sensitive case to end up in smoke like it has happened in some other high profile cases”.
“Facts of the case prima facie reveal that petitioner is the kingpin, that is, the key conspirator in this case. Law enforcing agencies cannot be made ineffective by putting legal obstacles in offences in question,” the judge said. The High Court said this was a “classic case of money laundering” and the twin facts which have weighed to deny pre-arrest bail to him are “gravity” of the offence and “evasive” replies given by him to questions put to him while he was under protective cover extended to him by this court.
CBI, ED teams visit PC’s house, fail to locate him : HOURS after the Delhi High Court rejected any relief for senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, teams of officers of CBI and Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday night went to his residence apparently to arrest him in the INX Media scam.