ED can't arrest Karti Chidambaram until next hearing on 20 March, says Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate and the central government stating that Karti Chidambaram shouldn't be arrested, granting an interim relief to the businessman in the INX Media case. The next hearing, the court said, will be on 20 March

The relief given to Karti Chidambaram will be in effect till the next date of hearing. However, S Bhaskararaman, Karti's chartered accountant, will be sent to judicial custody for a further 14 days.

The high court said that the CBI's plea for extension of Karti's custody has already been listed before the Patiala House Court for hearing. CNN-News18 reported that the high court refused to make additional comments on Friday, for it may adversely influence proceedings in the Patiala House Court.

Karti Chidambaram arrives at Patiala House Court in New Delhi. PTI

Karti Chidambaram arrives at Patiala House Court in New Delhi. PTI

The court has ordered Karti to cooperate with the investigating agencies, and to not fly out of the country until the next hearing.

Karti Chidambaram had moved the high court on Wednesday against a possible arrest by the ED in relation to the case. He had also approached the Supreme Court alleging that the ED had no jurisdiction to conduct investigations unrelated to the allegations in the FIR lodged by CBI on 15 May, 2017. Karti is currently being produced in court by the CBI as his three-day custody ends on Friday. The CBI has sought custody for six more days.

The apex court had also on 23 February refused to stay the summons issued by the ED against Karti.

The ED's special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana had earlier told the court that during the course of an investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman had been assisting Karti to manage his "ill-gotten wealth" in India and abroad.

He alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 percent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.

To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED had alleged.

The FIPB unit of the finance ministry had not only granted illegal approval but also misinformed the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, it had alleged.

With inputs from agencies

Published Date: Mar 10, 2018 08:55 AM | Updated Date: Mar 10, 2018 08:59 AM

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