There was no relief for former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, as the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana hearing Chidambaram’s plea against arrest referred the matter to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
The Congress leader had moved the top court on August 20, 2019, after a six-member team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials arrived at his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi to arrest him. However, officials couldn’t find him there.
The teams of the investigating agencies reached his residence after the Delhi High Court on August 20, 2019, refused to grant Chidambaram protection from arrest in the INX Media case.
The CBI is investigating Chidambaram in the INX Media case, which it had registered on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as finance minister.
The ED is probing the money laundering case which it lodged in 2018. The agency today i.e., August 21, 2019, issued a lookout notice against Chidambaram to restrict his movement across land, air and seaports.
The Delhi High Court said facts prima facie reveal that Chidambaram is the kingpin, the key conspirator, in the case. The High Court observed that the magnitude and enormity of material brought forth by investigating agencies clearly does not entitle him any pre-arrest bail.
The Congress has described the government`s action against its leader as political vendetta and accused it of maintaining double standard over the issue of corruption.
(With inputs from agencies)