New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to grant immediate relief from arrest to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media case after he moved the apex court against Delhi High Court quashing his anticipatory bail plea earlier on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court bench also refused to list the matter for an urgent hearing and placed the case before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that this is a case of monumental money laundering. At this, Chidambaram’s advocate and Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal contested that at 2 a.m. a notice was pasted in the former minister’s residence.
The bench said: “I am sending the file to Chief Justice for urgent hearing.”
With this development, the former Finance Minister could be arrested by the CBI who is probing a case of money laundering against him.
The CBI is investigating P Chidambaram in the INX Media case, which it had registered on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as Finance Minister.
Soon after the Delhi High Court quashing his anticipatory bail plea, P Chidambaram went ‘missing’ and has still not been traced. Earlier on Tuesday, a six-member CBI and an Enforcement Directorate team of officials reached Chidambara’s Jor Bagh residence one after the other, but could not meet him as he was not at home.
The CBI team reached Chidambaram’s residence around 6.30 p.m. and left 10 minutes later. The ED team then arrived at the senior Congress leader’s residence at around 7.30 p.m.
Both teams left the premises after confirming that Chidambaram was not present at the address.
When Chidambaram remained untraceable to the investigative agencies for hours, a CBI team returned to his residence and pasted a notice on the gate asking Chidambaram to appear within two hours before R. Parthasarthy, CBI Deputy SP, who is probing the case, to record his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC.
In wee hours of Wednesday then Chidambaram’s lawyers wrote to the CBI questioning under which law was the former Finance Minister asked to appear ‘within two hours’.