INX Media case: Supreme Court protects Karti Chidambaram from arrest by Enforcement Directorate till March 26 

The apex court also transferred to itself the matter pending before the Delhi High Court keeping in view that several high courts in the country have given conflicting views on interpretation of PMLA

Published: 15th March 2018 03:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2018 05:12 AM   |  A+A-

Karti Chidambaram son of former finance minister P Chidambaram arrives at Patiala House courts in connection with the INX Media money laundering case in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a breather to Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on Thursday extended the interim relief granted by the Delhi High Court to Karti from arrest till March 26 in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also transferred to itself the matter pending before Delhi HC keeping in view that several high courts in the country have conflicting views on interpretation of section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which relates to ED’s power to arrest an accused.

The top court’s order in the INX media case came hours after the high court extended Karti’s protection from arrest in the ED case from March 20 to 22.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi, appearing on behalf of Karti pleaded that the interim protection should remain in operation till March 26, the next date of hearing.

“We won’t leave you high and dry till we decide on the matter. The question for consideration is if Article 226 can be invoked as recourse for pre-arrest bail,” the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the probe agency contended that March 9 order passed by the HC, directing for no coercive action against Karti could be misused by the PNB bank case accused and the promoter of Kingfisher Airlines.

Mehta stressed that the HC had already referred a bunch of pleas challenging the validity of Section 45 also of the PMLA to the full bench of the Delhi HC.

“To get out of the problem, we will transfer all cases,” the bench said.

Maligning reputation

Karti has alleged that the ED was on fishing and roving enquiry to malign the reputation of his father.

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