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