Court rejects PC’s surrender plea
Court lets Robert Vadra go abroad
Observing that investigation is the prerogative of the probe agency, a special CBI court here dismissed on Friday a plea by former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who is currently lodged in Tihar jail in the INX Media corruption case, to surrender in the money-laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“The applicant has neither been arrested nor did this court take any cognisance of any offence on any complaint or chargesheet...
New Delhi: ADelhi
court on Friday allowed son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, to travel abroad on business, saying that the Enforcement Directorate’s apprehension that he might tamper with evidence was without any basis. Special judge Arvind Kumar granted permission to Vadra to travel to Spain from September 21to October 8.
Vadra is facing allegations of money laundering related to purchase of a property in London worth 1.9 million pounds. The court said that before leaving the country, Vadra would have to inform the court and the investigating agency the address of his stay in Spain along with contact numbers. It also directed him to submit
Rs 25 lakh fixed deposit receipt with it.
This is not even a notional surrender because the court has not taken the applicant into custody in this case though he happens to be in custody in another case,” special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar observed.
Chidambaram is currently in judicial custody in the CBI case. The ED, through solicitor-general Tushar Mehta and special prosecutor Nitesh Rana, opposed his surrender plea, arguing that the agency wanted to make use of the 15 days of remand it was permitted to seek under the law.
The agency also argued that it did not want to pursue Chidambaram’s custody as of now though there were sufficient grounds for custodial interrogation. Mehta argued, “The ED will be able to utilise 15 days of remand to its optimum if custodial interrogation of the accused takes place after these six individuals are interrogated.”
The court said when the investigating officer was not willing to arrest the applicant at this stage, Chidambaram’s application for surrender could not be entertained. The former finance minister had only moved a plea to surrender and wasn’t taken into custody in this case, it added.