After denying the ED permission to quiz and arrest Chidambaram inside Rouse Avenue court premises, Special judge Kuhar allowed ED to go tomorrow to Tihar jail, where the Congress leader is lodged, and question and, if required, arrest him.
It's not in the dignity of this person that you interrogate and arrest him (Chidambaram) here in public view.
- Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar
What happened in court
Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar allowed the plea of the ED seeking permission to quiz Chidambaram, who is in judicial custody till October 17 in the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI, saying the agency can question him in Tihar jail on Wednesday and, if required, arrest him. The court said ED's application for remand is premature at this moment. When the court asked permission to question Chidambaram within the court premises, the court said it was not in the dignity of Chidambaram and asked the agency to do it tomorrow at Tihar.
CBI court allows ED to arrest ex-FM P Chidambaram
It's not of the dignity of this person that you interrogate and arrest him here in public view: Court tells ED
Court allows ED to go to Tihar and interrogate Chidambaram tomorrow, and arrest him if required, reports PTI.
P Chidambaram produced before the Delhi special court, which is expected to pass order shortly on ED's plea to arrest him
INX Media case: What happened so far
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money-laundering case in this regard in 2017. Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21, and after several days of questioning, was lodged in Tihar Jail here under judicial custody till October 17
Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, had said that the CBI has already taken remand and ED has no ground since the offence is same. And that is any case that when Chidambaram had offered to undergo arrest following the SC verdict , the ED had not accepted it. Chidambaram is in judicial custody till October 17 in the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI.
Yesterday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED argued two things a) SC had already ruled that custodial interrogation is needed by the ED to try and prove this case b) Money laundering is a separate offence.
All eyes now on the special court , where special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar is set to pronounce his order shortly on whether the ED can take Chidambaram into custody for interrogation in a money laundering case connected to the INX Media case. Chidambaram, who is now presently in Tihar Jail, will be produced in court.
ADJOURNED: The case has been adjourned to tomorrow 2 pm, when the apex court will hear the arguments of CBI against bail.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: Gone are the days the prosecution was independent
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: The High court is in error. Takes a view on gravity of offence and denies bail. What's the point of a trial if the high court takes such a view in bail?
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: How much credence can the court give to statements made by a woman accused of murdering her own daughter? ( referring to Indrani)
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: Allegation is that approached witnesses. When, where, how? Six remand orders have been passed against him. No mention of witness tampering mentioned to any court. It's a desperate afterthought in sealed cover to deny him bail. There have been innumerable hearings. No mention of any tampering
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: Tampering can't be held against me without giving me a chance to defend myself. Wrong precedent for the future.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: Nothing can be ruled out. Earthquake can't be ruled out, acrobatics can't be ruled out. So deny bail? Speculative hypothetical non finding of Delhi High Court can't be used to deny bail.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: The test for bail is a triple test. Whether absconding? Whether tampering? Whether influencing witnesses? The answers for all these are in our favour.
Kapil Sibal: After chargesheet is filed, he will be entitled to bail. They only want to keep him in jail and humiliate him
Kapil Sibal: The CBI notice notice to be present was issued at midnight. The email reply to that was sent at 1:10. This email was suppressed during arrest. Now this is their ground for calling him a flight risk
Delhi High Court did not give any ruling on witnesses tampering, only said it's possible and hence denied him bail. Without any names or information to Chidambaram. He was arrested from his own home. The fact that he absented himself from 20th evening to 21st as he was with his advocates, was dubbed a flight risk. The information on this was sent over email to prosecution about his moving the top court.
Kapil Sibal: Why should bail be denied when no one is interrogating ? If someone presents evidence of tampering with evidence or witnesses, cancel the bail. At no point of time has he approached any material witness. Sealed cover denies him an opportunity to contest unsubstantiated allegations. Handing over material in sealed cover is objectionable and is against right to liberty.
Kapil Sibal: That he was a strong finance minister can't be held against him . Whoever have been accused are apparently co accused . Evidence of co accused is not evidence at all. . On the presumption that he will tamper, can bail be denied?
Kapil Sibal, countering influencing witnesses charge against him: Prosecution gave in sealed cover some information about witnesses being approached. We don't know anything to defend ourselves.
Kapil Sibal: After FIR was filed in 2017 he has never gone abroad. Whenever he was asked to be present for investigation he has turned up. Where is the question of his fleeing? Regarding tampering of evidence, he is not with the govt. He is only an MP. FIPB clearances are with govt
Kapil Sibal: Their game plan seems to be hold him for 60 days and then, as soon as it is over, ED seeks his custody and holds him for another 60 days. He has surrendered his passport. A lookout notice has been issued. Restrictions on travel imposed. How's he a flight risk?
Kapil Sibal: Today is 55th day of his incarceration. He wanted to surrender to ED, it was rejected.
The hearing has begun ...Kapil Sibal starts speaking
The hearing in SC is to begin in a short while from now. Chidambaram's lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Sighvi have reached. The bench of justices R. Banumathi, AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy are awaited. Tushar Mehta for ED also awaited.
Even if Chidambaram manages to get bail there is a possible ED custody waiting for him. Today evening a Delhi special court is set to pronounce order on the Enforcement Directorate's plea seeking to arrest and interrogate him in a money laundering case connected to the the INX Media case.
On flight risk and tampering with evidence, the high court had ruled in favour of Chidambaram, while on the third count of influencing witnesses, the verdict had gone against the senior Congress leader
The high court had decided 74-year-old Chidambaram's bail petition on three aspects -- flight risk, tampering with evidence and influencing of witnesses.
Though the high court had denied bail to Chidambaram, it had observed that he was not a flight risk and could not tamper with evidence.
The apex court will also hear the CBI's challenge to the findings of the Delhi High Court that Chidambaram was not a flight risk and could not tamper with evidence.
Will Chidambaram get bail today in the INX Media case. The SC today is hearing the the appeal filed by the former finance minister, challenging the high court's September 30 verdict denying him bail in the case