NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim protection from any arrest to former Union Minister P Chidambaram by Enforcement Directorate till Monday - August 26 when it will also hear pleas challenging the trial court order of granting custody to CBI and also the plea filed by him in the top court earlier.
A bench headed by Justice Banumathi passed the orders after hearing CBI and ED submissions at length. Chidambaram's plea challenging his custody will come up for hearing on August 26 when his CBI custody gets over. Both CBI and ED cases will be listed on Monday for examining the legality of handing over of his custody to authorities.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for CBI and ED tells court that atleast 10 properties and 17 bank accounts in foreign is what we have found so far which has direct or indirect link to Chidambaram and also cites electronic evidence, emails exchanges to trace route of illicit, illegal transfer or money.
"Shell companies were created by those having close connection with P Chidambaram and the money was laundered through these companies," Mehta tells the court.
Mehta strongly opposed the submission and said, "This is a case concerning a grave offence. We cannot arrest him till Monday. There is no necessity for any protection till Monday. We seek custodial interrogation bcoz there are certain people, by the strength of their influence and mental faculties, who will never divulge if they are under protection of anticipatory bail."
This was opposed by Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi who told the bench that, "ED submitted a note in the Delhi High Court after the judgement had been reserved and it also influenced the final order. If a court starts cut, copy and paste of a note damning me, what chances can I have to get relief? The High Court order is as good as an order of conviction and the ED’s note had become the basis of the order by the high court. "
Justice Sunil Gaur of the Delhi High Court had rejected Chidambaram’s application of anticipatory bail in two cases filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media cases.