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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a fresh affidavit challenging the Special Leave Petition filed by former Union Minister P Chidambaram against the order of the Special CBI judge granting the CBI custody over him.
In the brief affidavit, the CBI has contended that Chidambaram’s plea against the remand order ought not to be entertained given that he has alternate appellate forums that are yet to be exhausted. In view of the same, the CBI submits,
“…entertaining of petition under Article 136 of the Constitution directly against an order of remand passed by the competent court in exercise of discretionary jurisdiction under Section 167 of the Code would set a very bad precedent.“
In this backdrop, the CBI has also argued that Chidambaram has not presented any extraordinary reasons to approach the Supreme Court directly in the matter, while by-passing the otherwise routine procedure. The affidavit states,
“… as held by the Constitution bench of this Hon’ble Court in Bihar Legal Support Society v. Chief Justice of India…normally the High Court is the final arbiter in bail/anticipatory bail matters. Generally all SLPs challenging the bail/anticipatory bail are, therefore, not allowed to be listed immediately on mentioning before the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India unless extraordinary and special reasons are shown.
If this Hon’ble Court were to entertain the SLP directly against the order of the special judge remanding the accused to police custody, all the litigants whose prayer for listing of SLP against anticipatory bail are refused and are thereafter arrested, will be entitled to file similar petitions challenging the orders of session Judge / Special Judge granting police remand directly before this Hon’ble court as the personal liberty of other citizens [which is interfered with in accordance with law] would not be less important than that of the Petitioner. “
In view of these submissions, the CBI has sought for the dismissal of the plea file by Chidambaram challenging the Special Court’s remand order.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in connection with the INX Media case on August 21, a day after the Delhi High Court denied his anticipatory bail plea. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sought his arrest in the case.
He was sent to police custody on August 22 in the case filed by the CBI. On August 26, the Supreme Court rejected the SLP challenging the order of the Delhi High Court denying him protection from arrest by the CBI, upon noting that the plea had become infructuous. However, the Bench granted him interim protection from arrest by the ED.
The same day, the Special CBI Court at Rouse Avenue Court Complex extended the CBI’s custody of P Chidambaram till August 30. An SLP was later filed challenging the extension of remand.
Today, the Supreme Court extended the CBI’s custody of over Chidambaram till Thursday, September 5. The counsel for Chidambaram also submitted today that they would not press for bail at the Special CBI Court till Thursday, after noting that the maximum CBI custody period of 15 days will end on September 5. In response, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also submitted today that the CBI does not want custody of Chidambaram anymore.
On August 29, the Supreme Court reserved its order in the plea filed him for an anticipatory bail in the case registered by the ED.
Read the CBI Affidavit: