INX Media: Supreme Court reserves order in Chidambaram plea for anticipatory bail in ED case

INX Media: Supreme Court reserves order in Chidambaram plea for anticipatory bail in ED case

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today reserved its order in the plea filed by former Union Minister and Senior Advocate P Chidambaram for anticipatory bail in the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media case.

The order will be delivered by the Bench of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna on September 5, Thursday. The Court’s order will also deal with the question of whether or not the courts have the power to and can look into the material in possession of the agency for arresting the accused. The Court today also extended the interim protection it had granted Chidambaram earlier this week until the order is passed.

The Bench reserved orders in the case today after hearing extensive arguments over four days by Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi for Chidamabaram and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the ED.

When the hearing in the case had begun, the Solicitor General for India Tushar Mehta had sought to place before the Bench material in a sealed cover that was relied upon to seek custody of Chidambaram. The Court has directed the ED to submit this material in a sealed cover, sealed with the authentic deal of the ED in a period of three days.

Whether or not the Court will examine this material will be based on the order of the Court to be delivered on September 5 and should the Court decide against perusing the material, the cover will be returned the agency as is.

Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED had sought Chidambaram’s arrest in the INX Media case.

Chidambaram was sent to custody last week in the case filed by the CBI. Chidambaram, who was remanded to CBI custody by the Special CBI Judge, also challenged the order granting custody.

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 application was later filed challenging the extension of remand.

The INX Media case pertains to the alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media at the time when P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. It is the case of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram received illegal gratification from INX Media owners, Peter and Indrani Mukherjea for the clearance.

Read about all the hearings in Supreme Court below:

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