New Delhi, Mar 6: The Supreme Court of India Tuesday declined to grant any protection to former union finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram from impending arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money laundering case related to INX Media.
According to agency reports a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud however, sought the response from the ED on Karti’s fresh plea seeking protection from the arrest.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is investigating the case, told the apex court that it intends to seek an extension of Karti Chidambaram’s custody before the trial court on Tuesday.
The court will further hear the matter on March 8. Challenging the summons of the ED Karti Chidambaram in his writ petition said that ED has no jurisdiction to issue such notices based on the FIR lodged by the CBI.
The apex court on February 23 refused to stay the summons issued by the ED against Karti Chidambaram. Karti is presently in CBI custody in the INX Media money laundering case — after the CBI said he was “not a common criminal” and his plea for quashing the notice was “a guise for an anticipatory bail plea.”
However, the top court had asked him to request the competent authority to postpone the ED summons seeking his appearance.
The ED had registered a case against him and others in May last year. It registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED’s equivalent of a police FIR, against the accused named in a CBI complaint. These included Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.
An FIR, filed on May 15 last year, had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving Rs 305 crore in overseas funds in 2007 when P. Chidambaram was Union Finance Minister.
The apex court was hearing pleas, including the CBI’s appeal, challenging the Madras High Court order staying a lookout circular (LOC) issued against Karti Chidambaram.
The CBI had on September 1 last year said there were “good, cogent” reasons for issuing the LOC. The Chidambarams have denied all the charges made against them.
Earlier, a single judge bench of the Madras High Court had stayed the LOC issued against Karti Chidambaram and others in the graft case. Later, the apex court considered the CBI appeal and stayed the operation of the high court order staying the LOC.
The Supreme Court, however, has kept to itself another batch of petitions relating to registration of FIR in the corruption case.