Hey Ram! Were Chidambaram's lawyers hoping to draw CJI's attention at Ayodhya hearing?

Supreme Court Justice Ramana had refused to provide any interim relief but said he would send the case to the CJI Ranjan Gogoi who would list it before an appropriate bench.

Published: 22nd August 2019 01:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2019 05:50 PM   |  A+A-

Salman Khurshid, Chidambaram, INX media case

Salman Khurshid is one of the senior lawyers representing former union minister in the INX media case. (Photos | PTI & AP)

By Online Desk

Did the legal team of former Union Minister P Chidambaram try to draw CJI Ranjan Gogoi's attention when the Ayodhya Bench was in session? It might appear so since the senior lawyers representing the Congress leader made their way to the CJI's court on Wednesday evening, where the five-judge Constitution Bench had assembled to hear the Ayodhya land dispute case.

When the five-judge bench was rising for the day, Kapil Sibal and his team with a glimmer of hope expected CJI Gogoi to ask why they were present. But the CJI did not communicate with them at all. 

Earlier in the day, the former Union minister had applied for a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court in Justice Ramana's court after the Delhi HC refused to grant the anticipatory bail to the former finance minister in the INX media scandal.

The order was pronounced by a single-judge Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur after it was reserved on January 25. The Court also denied interim protection to P Chidambaram for the time being.

The SLP in the SC was filed through Sibal seeking relief from arrest.

Chidambaram's legal team including Sibal and Salman Khurshid assembled in Justice Ramana's court at 2 PM.

"Our client is not running away; We are only asking that matter be listed," Sibal said, citing previous instances when Solicitor General had mentioned matters and the same had been listed.

Justice Ramana then pointed to the defects in the petition which need to be rectified before listing. He, however, refused to provide any interim relief but said he would send the case to CJI Ranjan Gogoi who would list it before an appropriate bench.

The late-night drama on Tuesday unfolded after this. Chidambaram, after his press conference at the Congress HQ,  was arrested from his private residence on the night that also saw CBI officers scaling walls.  

In the INX Media case, Chidambaram is accused of facilitating foreign investment in the media company in 2007 while he was the Finance Minister at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who is accused of receiving kickbacks. Both the father and son have denied any wrongdoing.

The agency had been seeking Chidambaram's "custodial interrogation" in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of foreign investment clearances to INX Media.

They said Chidambaram was summoned last year for questioning in the case but he remained evasive in his responses.


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