P Chidambaram protected from arrest in INX Media case till 24 January after Delhi HC extends relief

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday extended till 24 January the interim protection from arrest granted to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on his pleas seeking anticipatory bail in the INX Media case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Justice Sunil Gaur listed the matter for hearing on 24 January after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta expressed his inability to argue during the day. Chidambaram was represented in the hearing through advocates Pramod Kumar Dubey and Arshdeep Singh.

On 25 July, 2018, the high court had granted interim protection to Chidambaram from arrest and directed the ED not to take any coercive step against him till August 1 that year in the INX Media money laundering case.

 P Chidambaram protected from arrest in INX Media case till 24 January after Delhi HC extends relief

File image of Congress leader P Chidambaram. AFP

Prior to that, on 31 May, 2018, the court had protected him from arrest in the case lodged by the CBI. On 1 August, 2018, the court had extended the interim protection to 28 September and then to 25 October in both the cases.

On October 25, the interim relief was extended till 29 November, on which date the court extended the relief till 15 January.  The court had also directed Chidambaram to cooperate with the investigation in both the cases as and when required.

The senior Congress leader's role had came under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.

It was during his tenure as Union finance minister in the UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures. In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on 15 May, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.

The ED had, in 2018, lodged the money laundering case in this regard. A trial court in Delhi had also granted protection from arrest till 7 August, 2018, to Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case in which he and his son Karti are named in the chargesheet filed by the CBI.

Chidambaram's petition had said that though no summons had ever been served on him by the ED in this case, he had an apprehension of arrest in view of the summons issued to him by the CBI, which was investigating the scheduled offence.

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Updated Date: Jan 15, 2019 18:23:46 IST