Chidambaram INX Media Case updates: Supreme Court reserves order for 5 September, extends interim protection from ED arrest

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Chidambaram INX Media Case updates: Supreme Court reserves order for 5 September, extends interim protection from ED arrest
  • 16:29 (IST)

    Meanwhile, SC posts plea against CBI custody for 2 September

    The Supreme Court has posted for 2 September P Chidambaram's petition challenging the 22 August order of the trial court remanding him to CBI's custody in the INX Media case.

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Supreme Court reserves order for 5 September, extends interim protection

    The Supreme Court has reserved its order on P Chidambaram's plea seeking anticipatory bail in the INX Media case being investigated by the ED. The interim protection granted by the court to Chidambaram in the case has also been extended till 5 September.

  • 16:12 (IST)

    Sealed cover business must stop: Karti

    As Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued against ED's sealed cover in the INX Media case in the Supreme Court, P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram wrote on Twitter, "This sealed cover business must stop in our judicial process."

  • 16:06 (IST)

    Objection is to submission of sealed cover to Delhi HC judge after conclusion of proceedings: Sibal

    After Kapil Sibal concluded his arguments, Abhishek Manu Singhvi — also appearing for P Chidambaram — clarified about his objection on the sealed cover. He said their objection is to ED"s move to submit a sealed cover to the Delhi High Court judge after the conclusion of proceedings.

  • 15:44 (IST)

    Sealed covers not meant to seal liberty of man: Sibal

    On the ED's handing over of documents to the Supreme Court bench in a sealed cover, Kapil Sibal said in the top court, "Sealed covers are not meant to seal the liberty of a man. If they (ED) don't file the complaint for four years saying investigation is going on, will I not be able to get a bail for 4 years?"

  • 15:33 (IST)

    Ex-FM bail plea should be examined under due procedure, says Kapil Sibal

    "Arrest him, there is no issue but if he moves for anticipatory bail or regular bail as is his right, then it shall be examined as under due procedure," said Kapil SIbal in Supreme Court.

  • 15:09 (IST)

    Ex-FM never denied agency's right to arrest him: Kapil Sibal 

    The former Union minister's right to get anticipatory bail is under Article 21 and the ED can arrest him as long as they are fair and reasonable, clarified Sibal.

    "What is not fair or reasonable is handing over notes like this." he added.

    Sibal argued that this was a 'serious issue' regarding Chidambaram's liberty. The ED claim to find ex-FM guilty but instead of putting it in an affidavit, 'they hand over a note to the Delhi High Court Judge," he said. 

  • 15:03 (IST)

    Sibal calls 'note' submitted in Delhi HC as 'travesty of justice'

    "This is a travesty of justice when a note is placed before the Court after proceedings are over and the same note is reproduced in the judgement as the opinion of the Court and later extracted as the findings of the Court," said senior advocate Kapil Sibal on Delhi High Court's judgment.

    ED had said that a 'note' was filed and the Delhi High Court examined it and this was mentioned twice in the court's judgment that the "records have been examined" before arriving at conclusion. 

  • 14:52 (IST)

    Kapil Sibal raises question over counter affidavit filed by ED

    Kapil Sibal, representing P Chidambaram raises questions about the counter affidavit filed by the ED which asserts that the material was put in front of former finance minister for confrontation and he was evasive. 

    "It is not my case that they (agencies) can't arrest me (P Chidambaram). All we're saying is if you have put the material to confront Chidambaram like you have claimed in your counter affidavit, show it to the Court," argues Sibal.

  • 14:48 (IST)

    SG Tushar Mehta concludes his arguments for the ED

    Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal begins making his rejoinder arguments for P Chidambaram. 

  • 14:47 (IST)

    ED urges SC to look into sealed documents to confirm clarity of evidence 

    SG Mehta urges SC to look into the documents he has, including the statement of P Chidambaram,  to examine if the material is clear or not. He stated that the material is ready in a sealed cover should the court agree to examine it. 

  • 14:34 (IST)

    SG Tushar Mehta argues on Section 45 of the PMLA that provides twin conditions for release of accused on bail 

    Countering that argument that Section 45 of PMLA is unconstitutional, SG Mehta says post Nikesh Tarachand Shah judgement, the provision was amended and is not in question before the court. 

    Section 45 of the PMLA comcerns about the twin condition for the release of an accused on bail and its position in law prior to and after Nikesh Tarachand Shah vs Union of India case. 

    The conditions required that the public prosecutor must be given an opportunity to oppose any application for release on bail and the court must be satisfied, where the public prosecutor opposes the application, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is “…not guilty of such offence, and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail”

  • 14:05 (IST)

    Bench assembles post lunch break. SG Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, resumes his arguments

  • 13:49 (IST)

    'Concealment of proceeds of crime is a standalone crime under PMLA': SG Mehta


    SG Mehta said that if bribe is taken between 2007-2008 and the offence of bribery is added to in 2009, the bribe taken continues to be laundered.


    Even if the person taking or giving the bribe is not directly involved in the process of bribery, the money taken was still laundered. In this case, the bribe was given in 2007-2008 but continued to be laundered. "Concealment of proceeds of crime is a standalone crime under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act)", said ED in response to former FM's claims that the agency was charging him in the retrospective effect of PMLA.

  • 13:04 (IST)

    Bench rises for lunch break. Hearing to continue at 2 PM

  • 13:00 (IST)

    'Anticipatory bail would reduce interrogation to a mere ritual', says ED

    ED argues that agency officials know how to extract information without third degree and that anticipatory bail would reduce interrogation to a mere ritual. 

    SG Mehta further states, "There are checks and balances, which is is why all accused are produced before a magistrate or a special court. The accused can then tell the court of any ill-treatment in he experienced in custody."

  • 12:54 (IST)

    'Quantum of punishment is no judgment for the gravity of an offence', says SG Tushar Mehta

    "Quantum of punishment is no judgment for the gravity of an offence. The prison term is not relevant but what is relevant is what is the impact of the offence on the society and on the nation," SG Mehta argued on ED's behalf against former Union Minister's bail plea.

  • 12:46 (IST)

    'Gravity of an offence is an important factor to be considered while entertaining petitions filed for anticipatory bail': ED tells SC

    "Gravity of an offence is an important factor to be considered while entertaining petitions filed for anticipatory bail," SG Mehta said while citing judgements to assert the fact that economic offences are very grave as held by courts in the past. 

    "They (senior adovocates representing ex-FM Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi) have argued that gravity of an offence is subjective. PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) offences may not be grave for them but the courts have consistently held that economic offences are grave in nature," said Mehta. 

    He also argued how the offence in this particular case is against the economy of the country. and how the court has always taken a view that economic offences are the gravest form of offences, irrespective of the punishments they prescribe.  

  • 12:34 (IST)

    'Apex court cannot become a regular court of appeal', argues ED

    "Apex court cannot become a regular court of appeal," SG Mehta argued citing case-laws to substantiate his contention to show that apex court's interference at this stage is unwarranted. "This Court ordinarily does not interfere in matters of bail and High Courts should be the final authority." Mehta stated.

    ED also stated that many accused are absconding and a relief of anticipatory bail following a mini-trial would have devastating effect

  • 12:22 (IST)

    ED defends right to withhold evidence at pre-anticipatory bail stage, says if made public, 'will destroy the case'

    "If an accused at large is confronted with the evidence collected, then the agency will have exposed its evidence and witnesses, which will give a chance to the accused to tamper with evidence and erase the money trail", argues SG Mehta.

    SG Mehta argues that the ED has the absolute discretion regarding what material to divulge and what to withhold in terms of evidence. If an accused is confronted with evidence at pre-anticipatory bail stage, it will destroy the full case, ED stated.

  • 12:16 (IST)

    Indrani Mukherjee, who turned approver in case, says ex-FM's arrest good news

    Indrani Mukerjea, a co-accused in the INX Media case, who had told investigators about P Chidambaram's and his son, Karti's involvement in the money laundering and corruption case related to the INX media firm, reacted to former-FM's arrest by calling it 'good news'.

    The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had Indrani's statement, according to which the two promoters and a senior company executive had approached P Chidambaram for foreign direct investment approval after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) rejected their request for a stake sale to the tune of 26 perent.

  • 12:08 (IST)

    SC's decision in INX Media Case may impact high-profile cases against Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Zakir Naik: ED tells apex court

    SG Tushar Mehta states that how the apex court bench gives their verdict in this particular case may have an impact on cases involving fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, diamantaire Mehul Choksi, controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and even in cases of terror funding.

  • 12:02 (IST)

     

    Hearing in the petition filed by P Chidambaram seeking anticipatory bail in case registered by the ED commences after delay 

  • 11:58 (IST)

    Hearing in SC delayed as ex-FM's counsel engaged in fighting another legal battle, say reports

    Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing P Chidambaram and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing ED, are engaged in fighting another legal battle presently in the Supreme Court, say reports. The bench consisting of Justices R Banumathi, AS Bopanna are gathered and waiting in court no 6 of the apex court to commence hearing in the former finance minister's case which was scheduled for 11:30 am. 

  • 11:45 (IST)

    'There is no retrospective application Of PMLA against Chidambaram': Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

    Countering the arguments of former Union minister's lawyers that Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was being retrospectively applied to P Chidambaram, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, submitted on Wednesday that the money laundering continued even after the 2007 INX FDI deal.

  • 11:22 (IST)

    Supreme Court proceedings to begin shortly

  • 11:16 (IST)

    Justice Sunil Gaur, who rejected Chidambaram's bail, tipped to head PMLA Appellate Tribunal

    The government is believed to have appointed Justice Sunil Gaur, who had rejected the bail plea of former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case, as chairman of the PMLA Appellate Tribunal.  While no government notification or order appointing Gaur as chairman has been made public so far, sources in the know said the appointment has been cleared.


    Once the formal order comes, he will replace Justice Manmohan Singh who joined as chairman on 22 September 2016 for a three-year term.

    Gaur, who retired on 23 August, had said that ex-FM's case was a “classic case of money laundering” and called him the “kingpin or key conspirator” in the INX Media case.

    (PTI)

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Justices R Banumathi, AS Bopanna likely to continue hearing ED's arguments today


    A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna is expected to continue hearing the arguments of the ED on former finance minister P Chidambaram's petitions in the INX Media case on Thursday. 

    Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi presented arugments in defence of Chidambaram in the case over Monday and Tuesday.

  • 10:55 (IST)

    P Chidambaram to remain in CBI custody till 30 August 

    A CBI court on Monday had remanded former finance minister P Chidambaram to the custody of the central investigative agency, CBI, in connection with the INX Media case till 30 August, after the Supreme Court labelled his plea challenging the rejection of anticipatory bail as "infructuous" earlier in the day. The ED, also investigating the case, will reportedly seek his custody once the CBI has concluded interrogation.

    In an affidavit against the CBI remand order, ex-FM had dismissed the charges against him and expressed fear that coercive methods may be used to “elicit responses” from him while he is in CBI custody.  

  • 10:43 (IST)

    'Why no chargesheet if ED, CBI have evidence?': Karti Chidambaram challenges investigative agencies

    Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram challenged the ED and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a chargesheet against him if they have any evidence in the allegations made by these investigative agencies over his benami properties and bank accounts in foreign countries in an exclusive interview with India Today TV 

  • 10:33 (IST)

    SC extends interim protection to P Chidambaram till 29 August; hearing to commence from 11:30 am today

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to continue his arguments on behalf of the ED against anticipatory bail for P Chidambaram today at 11.30 am in the INX Media Case. 

  • 10:30 (IST)

    ED claimed that showing case diary to accused could ‘prejudice investigation, influence witnesses’, cites Bhima Koregaon case

     

    Solicitor General had cited judgments of CrPC Section 172 to persuade the bench to look at the case diary, as aid in the case. He also argued that showing the case diary to the accused could prejudice investigation, influence witnesses. “The diary need not be seen but I want the court to see how the victimhood being plead by the petitioner does not hold,” Mehta said.

    SG Mehta during Wednesday's proceedings cited the Supreme Court's judgment in the Bhima Koregaon case on a petition filed by Romila Thapar and others. Mehta points out that in that case too, the case diary was placed before the Court. “As a matter of practice, courts look into case diaries to satisfy their judicial conscience,” he argued.

     

  • 10:19 (IST)

    ED dismisses allegations of case being a witch-hunt, claims to have 'cogent materials' to prove involvement of money laundering 

     
    "This is not a witch hunt as alleged by them. We have material to show that it is a serious case of money laundering. We have collected cogent materials in the case," SG Tushar Mehta said during the arguments which will continue on to Thursday.
     
    Referring to the arguments advanced by P Chidambaram's counsel on Tuesday that ED wanted to humiliate him by arresting him, SG Mehta said, "A victim card is sought to be played. They are saying humiliation. It is not. It is prevention, prevention and prevention with capital P. I am serious about this".

  • 10:13 (IST)

    Enforcement Directorate to argue against anticipatory bail for P Chidambaram in apex court

     
    The apex court is hearing a plea filed by P Chidambaram who has challenged the 20 August verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED.
     
    "A ghost is sought to be created by playing the victim card," SG Tushar Mehta said, representing ED, while opposing the grant of anticipatory bail to former finance minister.

  • 10:08 (IST)

    Supreme Court to continue hearing ED's arguments against anticipatory bail for P Chidambaram today

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday had extended till Thursday the interim protection from arrest granted to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

    Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta to continue his arguments on behalf of the ED in the apex court at 11.30AM on Thursday.

P Chidambaram hearing in Supreme Court LATEST Updates: The Supreme Court has reserved its order on P Chidambaram's plea seeking anticipatory bail in the INX Media case being investigated by the ED. The interim protection granted by the court to Chidambaram in the case has also been extended till 5 September.

On the ED's handing over of documents to the Supreme Court bench in a sealed cover, Kapil Sibal said in the top court, "Sealed covers are not meant to seal the liberty of a man. If they (ED) don't file the complaint for four years saying investigation is going on, will I not be able to get a bail for 4 years?"

Kapil Sibal, representing P Chidambaram raises questions about the counter affidavit filed by the ED which asserts that the material was put in front of former finance minister for confrontation and he was evasive.

"It is not my case that they (agencies) can't arrest me (P Chidambaram). All we're saying is if you have put the material to confront Chidambaram like you have claimed in your counter affidavit, show it to the Court," argues Sibal.

SG Mehta said that if bribe is taken between 2007-2008 and the offence of bribery is added to in 2009, the bribe taken continues to be laundered.

Even if the person taking or giving the bribe is not directly involved in the process of bribery, the money taken was still laundered. In this case, the bribe was given in 2007-2008 but continued to be laundered. "Concealment of proceeds of crime is a standalone crime under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act)", said ED in response to former FM's claims that the agency was charging him in the retrospective effect of PMLA.

ED argues that agency officials know how to extract information without third degree and that anticipatory bail would reduce interrogation to a mere ritual.

SG Mehta further states, "There are checks and balances, which is is why all accused are produced before a magistrate or a special court. The accused can then tell the court of any ill-treatment in he experienced in custody."

"Gravity of an offence is an important factor to be considered while entertaining petitions filed for anticipatory bail," SG Mehta said while citing judgements to assert the fact that economic offences are very grave as held by courts in the past.

"They (senior adovocates representing ex-FM Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi) have argued that gravity of an offence is subjective. PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) offences may not be grave for them but the courts have consistently held that economic offences are grave in nature," said Mehta.

"Apex court cannot become a regular court of appeal," SG Mehta argued citing case-laws to substantiate his contention to show that apex court's interference at this stage is unwarranted. "This Court ordinarily does not interfere in matters of bail and High Courts should be the final authority." Mehta stated.

ED also stated that many accused are absconding and a relief of anticipatory bail following a mini-trial would have devastating effect

Indrani Mukerjea, who had told investigators about P Chidambaram's and his son, Karti's involvement in the money laundering and corruption case related to the INX media firm, reacted to former-FM's arrest by calling it 'good news'

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to continue his arguments on behalf of the ED against anticipatory bail for P Chidambaram today at 11.30 am in the INX Media Case.

The Supreme Court extended the interim protection from arrest granted to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate to Thursday.

During the hearing held before the Bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), said that the case is not a witch hunt but a serious case of money laundering, supported by evidence.

"This is not a witch hunt as alleged by them. We have material to show that it is a serious case of money laundering. We have collected cogent materials in the case," Mehta told the bench.

 Chidambaram INX Media Case updates: Supreme Court reserves order for 5 September, extends interim protection from ED arrest

File image of the Supreme Court. PTI

The counsel, who will continue to present his arguments before the Bench on 28 August said that Chidambaram was playing the “victim” card to evade arrest by the ED. "A ghost is sought to be created by playing the victim card," Mehta said while opposing the grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram.

Mehta argued that the ED has “cogent evidence” to prove that the case is that of money laundering. "In the money laundering case, we would be dealing with very intelligent people, stupid men cannot do laundering. These offences are not committed in the heat of the moment, they are cleverly crafted. Most of the laundering is a digital operation," Mehta said.

Emphasising that the probe agency has a statutory right to arrest, Mehta said that the need for custodial interrogation has to be decided by the Special Court. "An arrest is done by people of higher rank, a director, on the basis of materials we have in possession, recorded reasons,” he said. The Solicitor General said the ED has the material in its possession against Chidambaram, which gives them the power to arrest.

The ED counsel argued that it has records from overseas banks and that revealing the evidence may impact the investigation and influence the witnesses. "The ED received the material, like records from banks all over the world. In this case, the statute provides that probe report should be sent to neutral adjudicatory authority, in a sealed cover, to avoid investigating agency tampering with them. These are statutory checks and balances provided in Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002."

"The money laundering case is very sensitive. We cannot share details of the investigation till the chargesheet is filed. I request the court to examine the report given in sealed cover," Mehta said in the court.

To this, Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is the counsel for Chidambaram, along with Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that he never made the case that accused should be given access to evidence but he should be confronted with it.

Sibal had said in the hearing on Tuesday that the former finance minister was quizzed by the agency on three dates in 2018 and 2019 and transcripts of questioning would clear the air on whether he was evasive in his replies, as alleged by it while seeking his custodial interrogation.

"You (ED) want to arrest me, but for what reason? The answer is - to humiliate me, to humiliate me and to humiliate me, minute by minute and hour by hour," Singhvi had said on Chidambaram’s behalf. To this, Mehta on Wednesday said that Chidambaram’s arrest “isn't for humiliation but for prevention”.

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The Supreme Court is hearing Chidambaram’s plea, which challenged the Delhi High Court’s 20 August verdict, in which the former finance minister was denied bail in the corruption and money laundering case lodged by the CBI and ED.

CBI had lodged an FIR on 15 May, 2017, alleging irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister, when the company had clearance only to receive four crore. His son Karti Chidambaram’s company allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from INX Media for helping it escape punitive action for the same.

The ED later also lodged a case against Chidambaram, who was a union minister between 2004 and 2014, when the UPA-I and UPA-II governments were at the Centre.

Updated Date: Aug 29, 2019 18:01:38 IST