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Special Judge OP Saini today reserved orders in the anticipatory bail pleas made by P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case.
The order was reserved despite requests from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to adjourn the case.
Fixing September 3 as the date of pronouncement, Judge Saini remarked,
“I’ve fixed it for order. It is for you (agencies) to come and argue now on any working day before September 3.”
The arguments on behalf of P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram were concluded earlier this month.
Appearing for the investigation agencies, Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj today sought an adjournment on the ground that the INX Media case was being considered by the Supreme Court after P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court.
Stating that a substantial issue with respect to the Aircel-Maxis case was involved in the INX Media case, and that even the High Court had made specific reference to the case in its order, Natraj asked that case be deferred till Tuesday.
Natraj further argued that “there had been a change in circumstances” warranting adjournment of the matter.
“There is no change except that you don’t want to argue”, Judge Saini said.
The Court thus declined the plea of the agencies to defer the hearing of the case.
“Who is going to argue now? It has been adjourned many times. Why are you seeking dates after dates?”
Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Chidambarams, also opposed an adjournment in the case.
“Adjournment is not a right…There is an ulterior motive. There are ten adjournments. This has never happened before.”
Special Judge Saini had time and again expressed his anguish over the repeated adjournments sought by the agencies in the case.
The case pertains to the alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals granted to the Aircel-Maxis deal at the time when P Chidambaram was Union Finance Minister.
While P Chidambaram had moved an anticipatory bail in the Aircel-Maxis case in July last year, his son Karti had preferred the plea in March last year. The father-son duo has been enjoying interim protection from arrest by the CBI as well as the ED due to consecutive adjournments.
Meanwhile, both the CBI and the ED have filed a chargesheet against Chidambaram, his son and others in the case. In spite of sanction from the Centre , the cognizance on the chargesheet is also pending.
Putting his foot down today, Judge Saini today said,
“Kaafi ho Gaya hai. Don’t you think?”
The interim protection from arrest granted to the father-son duo will continue till September 3.