SC TO HEAR ED’S PLEA AGAINST RE­LIEF TO KARTI FROM AR­REST

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court agreed on Tues­day to hear the En­force­ment Direc­torate’s (ED) plea chal­leng­ing a Delhi high court or­der giv­ing in­terim pro­tec­tion against ar­rest to Karti Chi­dambaram in a money laun­der­ing case, say­ing this could set a prece­dent for other cases and could ham­per in­ves­ti­ga­tion in the Pun­jab Na­tional Bank fraud in­volv­ing jew­eller irav Modi who might seek sim­i­lar re­lief.

The ap­peal was men­tioned be­fore a bench led by Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Misra by ad­vo­cate Ra­jat Nair, who asked for an ur­gent hear­ing. Ac­cept­ing his re­quest, the bench fixed March 15 to hear the plea.

Ad­di­tional so­lic­i­tor gen­eral Tushar Me­hta is likely to ar­gue the ED ap­peal.

Chi­dambaram, son of for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram, is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion and ED for his al­leged role in the INX Me­dia case. He is in ju­di­cial cus­tody till March 24 in the CBI case.

On March 9, a Delhi HC bench led by Jus­tice S Mu­ralid­har re­strained ED from ar­rest­ing Chi­dambaram till March 20 af­ter he claimed the agency could not have con­ducted the probe with­out reg­is­ter­ing a for­mal case.

Ac­cord­ing to ED’s ap­peal, the HC or­der vir­tu­ally amounted to grant­ing Chi­dambaram bail be­fore ar­rest. Chi­dambaram, it said, is guilty of abuse of law and in­ter­fer­ence at this stage by the HC would “se­ri­ously ham­per” in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a “se­ri­ous of­fence,” which is at a very sen­si­tive junc­ture.

■ Karti Chi­dambaram

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