NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today said it would tomorrow hear a plea by former Union minister P Chidambaram, seeking anticipatory bail in the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) money-laundering case related to INX Media.
The matter was listed before Justice A K Pathak, but as the judge did not hold the court in the post-lunch session today, the plea will now be heard tomorrow.
The petition, filed through advocates Pramod Kumar Dubey and Arshdeep Singh, said although no summons have ever been served to the former Union finance minister by the ED in this case, he has an apprehension of arrest in view of the summons issued to him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the scheduled offence.
It said that the ED has also opposed his anticipatory bail plea in another case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in relation to the Aircel-Maxis case and "it cannot be ruled out that the ED may also summon him and/or illegally arrest him even without issuing summons".
The plea claimed that 72-year-old Chidambaram apprehends arrest because of the circumstances under which the ED has arrested chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman in the case and the CBI had arrested his son Karti Chidambaram.
In the morning, the plea was mentioned before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, which directed that it be listed before the judge concerned.
The plea said Chidambaram does not have a copy of the FIR registered by the ED as it has not been provided to him till date.
He came to know about registration of the FIR from various summons received by his son from the ED, directing Karti to join the investigation, it said.
The plea said that during the investigation of the ED's case, which has been going on for over a year, no summon has been issued to Chidambaram till date, let alone any allegation of him evading the process of law or fleeing from the process of law or interfering with the investigation in any manner.
"There is not even a slightest whisper about his tampering with any evidence or hampering/impeding the process of investigation," it said, while seeking the relief.
The plea said the senior Congress leader had already got protection from arrest in the CBI's case related to INX Media.
The CBI had earlier told the court that Chidambaram was needed for custodial interrogation in the INX Media case.
The high court had earlier extended the interim protection against arrest granted to Chidambaram in the CBI case till August 1.
The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of the investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.
It was during his tenure as the finance minister in the UPA-1 government that clearances from the FIPB were given to the two ventures, in which alleged irregularities have been found.
In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15 last year, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance to the media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.
Thereafter, the ED had last year lodged the money-laundering case in this regard.