INX Media case: SC gives interim protection to Karti Chidambaram from arrest

INX Media Case Delhi High Court Reserves Order On Karti Chidambaram's Bail Plea

INX Media Case Delhi High Court Reserves Order On Karti Chidambaram's Bail Plea

The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on the bail plea of Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidamabaram, in the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI. The top court also extended till March 26 the interim relief granted by the Delhi HC to Karti from arrest. However, just a day ago, the Enforcement Directorate had approached the Supreme Court against Delhi High Court's order which gave relief to Karti Chidambaram from getting arrested.

Responding to this, the bench said, "Since no objection has been expressed by the ED for changing the dates, the petition is fixed for hearing on 22 or March".

The probe agency, represented by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, alleged that Karti had tampered with certain evidence.

They also said that no one else has been arrested in the case. Granting him the relief, the court said it was yet to decide the constitutional validity of Section 19 of PMLA which deals with the ED's power to arrest.

However, the ED has challenged in the Supreme Court the high court's March 9 order granting interim protection to Karti and it is listed for hearing on Thursday.

"All will rush to the Delhi High Court for ad-interim protection and we will not be able to do anything", he told the bench and referred to cases like the Punjab National Bank fraud and the Kingfisher Airlines case.

Kartis lawyers also denied the allegation of tampering with the evidence and added that when the CBI has not sought his further custodial interrogation, then why should he be kept in judicial custody.

A First Information Report filed by the CBI on 15 May previous year had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving Rs305 crore in overseas funds in 2007 when P Chidambaram was Union finance minister.

On March 9, the high court asked ED not to arrest Karti, who is in CBI custody in the case - in case he gets bail in the CBI case -till it heard the matter next.

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