Delhi HC grants Chidambaram interim protection from arrest in INX media case
The Delhi high court granted senior Congress leader P Chidambaram interim protection from arrest till July 3 in connection with the INX media case on Thursday, a day after he was given immunity in the Aircel-Maxis case till June 5.
Justice AK Pathak restrained the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from arresting Chidambaram till July 3 and also issued a notice seeking its response to the anticipatory bail application within two weeks.
The orders come after Chidambaram moved the court seeking anticipatory bail as he was summoned by the agency to join the probe after his role came under scanner in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media for foreign direct investment.
The agency had summoned Chidambaram to appear before it on May 31 at 11am in connection to the Rs 305 crore INX media case.
Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the agency, raised preliminary objections on the plea and said that Chidambaram should approach the sessions court instead. The court then directed the agency to respond to the bail application.
Mehta said during the proceedings that Chidambaram is relying on the judgment granting bail to his son Karti Chidambaram but that is still not final.
“CBI will challenge Karti Chidambaram’s bail in Supreme Court,” he said.
The court while granting the interim protection also directed Chidambaram to comply with the summons.
The hearing in this matter was supposed to happen on Wednesday. However, it witnessed a little bit of drama as justice SP Garg recused himself from hearing the matter. The matter was then listed for proceedings before justice Pathak, who said that he would hear the case at 3pm.
Counsels for both the sides, including Mehta, jointly requested for an adjournment following which the matter was heard at 10.30am, half an hour before Chidambaram had to reach the agency following the summons.
Chidambaram said in his plea he was summoned despite the fact that he was not mentioned as an accused or a suspect. He said that he feared arrest because of the circumstances under which his son was arrested earlier this year.
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