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INX Media Case highlights|SC to pronounce order on Chidambaram’s bail in INX Media money laundering case on September 5

P Chidambaram Plea’s INX Media Case highlights: The Supreme Court will on Thursday hear former Union minister P Chidambaram’s plea for protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case.

By HT Correspondent | Aug 30, 2019 11:31 IST
highlights

Former Union minister P Chidambaram’s plea to seek protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case is being heard by the Supreme Court. Chidambaram, former finance minister in the UPA government, had last week challenged the rejection of his anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court.

Chidambaram’s legal team comprising Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi have argued that the ED did not have any real evidence against the former minister.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is representing the ED, has refuted these claims and told the top court that the agency had received specific inputs on Chidambaram’s assets abroad. Chidambaram, 73, was arrested by the CBI on August 21.

Follow here what’s happening in the Supreme Court today:

4:40 pm IST

SC directs ED to place before it in a sealed cover the material which it wants to produce for court’s perusal

SC directs ED to place before it in a sealed cover the material which it wants to produce for the court’s perusal, reports PTI.

4:38 pm IST

Supreme Court refuses comment on Chidambaram’s offer

Supreme Court refuses comment on Chidambaram’s offer after SG Tushar Mehta says extension of remand can be done only before CBI court, reports PTI.

4:26 pm IST

Supreme Court to pronounce order on Chidambaram’s bail in INX Media money laundering case on September 5

SC to pronounce order on Chidambaram’s bail in INX Media money laundering case on September 5

03:35 pm IST

Can sealed cover procedure seal the fate of a man: Sibal

Look at the enormity of the drastic power..ED may not file a complaint in the next four years..and can hand over documents in sealed cover to oppose bail petition, saying the probe is still on.

Can such a procedure be allowed.. sealed cover procedure to seal the fate of a man, argues Sibal.

03:33 pm IST

Sibal says in terrorist, drugs cases accused need not be called

Sibal says, I don’t say he cannot arrest me.. my argument is- he called me but he did not put the documents to me and the judge says that because I was evasive and did not cooperate I can be arrested, please test that.

Sibal says in terrorist cases and drugs cases accused need not be called.

03:31 pm IST

Sibal: Dares ED to show one benami property in chidambaram’s name

Sibal says there has to be some basis..some reasons for arrest. Dares ED to show one benami property in chidambaram’s name...One thing to incriminate me and I will withdraw.

03:29 pm IST

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal rebuts for Chidambaram

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal rebuts for Chidambaram and says: They (investigative agency) has no right under the law to handover anything and everything to the court. It’s a question of my personal liberty. I have not questioned their right to arrest me. But the agency has to find me guilty before arresting me...they can’t hand over a note

01:01 pm IST

Concealment of proceeds of crime is a standalone crime under PMLA: Mehta

Mehta says if bribe is taken in 2097-08 and the offence of birbery is added in 2009, the bribe taken continues to be laundered. The bribe giver and taker may not be directly involved. Bribe was given in 2007-08 but laundering continued. Concealment of proceeds of crime is a standalone crime under PMLA.

12:42 pm IST

Mehta: Quantum of punishment is not relevant to measure gravity of offence

Quantum of punishment is not relevant to measure the gravity of an offence. Need to see the impact of the crime on the society. These are the offences that are against the society. Prayer made before this court is for anticipatory bail..not for discharge of quashing, Mehta says.

12:39 pm IST

Impossible to investigate if accused is armed with protective order: Mehta

In their view, the gravity may be a subjective word. They may not find a PMLA offence grave but this court has always given an expression that the economic offences are grave, says Mehta. Gravity of offence should decide the need for custodial interrogation, Mehta tells the court.

It is impossible to investigate when the accused is armed with a protective order, Mehta says.

12:29 pm IST

Indrani Mukerjea: Good news that Chidambaram has been arrested

Indrani Mukerjea, who turned approver in INX Media case, on being asked about arrest of P Chidambaram: It’s good news that P Chidambaram has been arrested.

 

12:26 pm IST

Tushar Mehta quotes a privy council judgement

Tushar Mehta quotes a privy council judgement to say that except for cases of demolition and death sentence, other cases are refused urgent hearing. The verdict says SC should ordinarily not interfere with bail or anticipatory bail, exception in exceptional cases.

Mehta says its the agency’s duty to unearth the truth. There are checks and balances under the penal law for interrogation. Better elicit of truth is when the accused is not protected.

12:22 pm IST

Accused can’t say agency should be asked to do this first and then arrest me, Mehta says.

My descretion is absolute but not unguided and arbitrary. The accused can’t say that agency should be asked to do this first and then arrest me, Mehta says. Custodial interrogation is a recognizable right under investigation.

12:19 pm IST

Mehta says, “Executive is obliged to prevent crime”

Executive is obliged to prevent crime. It’s the duty to collect evidence. Police function comes to an end once a chargesheet is filed. There is a clear demarcation in criminal law over who can conduct probe.

12:15 pm IST

Petitioner wants the court to decide how investigation should proceed: Mehta

Petitioner wants the court and not the agency to decide how the investigation should proceed, says Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

12:10 pm IST

Mehta asks, can we do confrontation at pre-chargesheet stage

Can we do confrontation at the pre-chargesheet stage, Mehta asks the court.

No requirement to confront him with evidence and witnesses at pre-anticipatory stage.

12:09 pm IST

Arrest is not merely made for interrogation purpose, says Mehta

Arrest is not merely made for interrogation purpose. It may be done so that the investigation is smoothly conducted, so that witnesses are not influenced or evidence is not tampered with, says Mehta, saying this point is general and not in specific to Chidambaram’s case.

12:07 pm IST

Confrontation would mean exposing agency’s investigation, Mehta tells court.

Confrontation would mean exposing agency’s investigation and also to expose the source. Investigation is a science, not a question-answer session. If we have ten things, we may divulge only three ...this is art of investigation. Such a proposition has never arose...(unless confront you can’t ask court to look into the documents). I could not find any judgement to support this proposition made, Mehta tells the court.

12:03 pm IST

Tushar Mehta: Petitioner is suggesting conducting a mini trial

Mehta says, “The petitioner is suggesting conducting a mini trial in the case. It’s upto the satisfaction of the investigation agency whether the statement is evasive or not. The moment accused is confronted with the evidence; the accused can easily erase the money trails. All are shell companies; money is parked in the name of individuals and benami properties.”

12:01 pm IST

Submission is absurd and devastating results would follow, says Mehta

Why I am labouring much on this point is because this submission is absurd and devastating results would follow if this submission is to be accepted. It is preposterous. If the court accepts this then this proposition will have ramifications. The agency is investigating the following cases: Vijay mallya, Mehul choksi, Nirav modi, Chagan bhujbal, Deepak talwar, Zakir Naik, Hafiz Sayed, Sayyed sallauddin and shabbir shah

Some of them will file petitions and base their case on this proposition.

11:58 am IST

Tushar Mehta begins his arguments for ED

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta: At pre-chargesheet stage, in a case of prevention of money laundering, the prosecution is entitled to oppose the bail based on the evidence it collects. Yesterday, my learned senior friend argued unless I confronted the accused with the material in my possession; I can’t even show it to the court. The proposition which this court is requested to lay down is that in case of money laundering the accused should be called and confronted with the material to record bus answers. Thereafter, the court has to undertake an exercise whether answers were evasive or not.

11:17 am IST

SC on Wednesday extended P Chidambaram’s interim protection

The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended by a day former union minister P Chidambaram’s interim protection from arrest in a case being probed by Enforcement Directorate in INX media case.In his arguments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said to give documents in the case would upset the apple cart of investigation. He asked the top court to look at the documents to show it’s not witch hunting but is a serious case of money laundering.

11:16 am IST

Specific information had been received from foreign banks: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

Mehta, who was arguing for the Enforcement Directorate, told the Supreme Court that specific information had been received from foreign banks which include inputs on Chidambaram’s properties abroad. “Statutory entities abroad have given specific inputs of properties like their location, ownership etc in detail and letters rogatory were also issued.

11:14 am IST

Chidambaram had moved the SC after the high court had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea

Chidambaram had moved the Supreme Court immediately after the high court had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea in both CBI and ED cases on August 20 and his matter was listed for hearing on August 21 before the SC passed an order pushing the hearing to August 23.

A CBI court had on August 26 extended Chidambaram’s custody in the INX media case to August 30 days after the CBI sought five more days to interrogate him.

11:14 am IST

On August 27 Chidambaram filed an affidavit before the SC

The former finance minister had on August 27 filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, denying ED allegations that he had bank accounts or properties abroad, purchased with allegedly laundered money.

The rejoinder was filed in response to the ED affidavit placed on record on August 26. ED stated it had found “17 benami foreign bank accounts” used for laundering money and 10 properties purchased with the money. Chidambaram and his co-conspirators “had accounts/valuable properties in Argentina, Austria, British Virgin Islands, France, Greece, Malaysia, Monaco, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Sri Lanka,” the affidavit said.

11:13 am IST

Tushar Mehta claimed that Chidambaram was engaged in laundering money

Solicitor general of India Tushar Mehta claimed on August 28 that Chidambaram was engaged in laundering money he allegedly received in return for a favour to INX Media even as late as in 2017, when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) first registered a case against him.

Mehta was seeking to rebut a claim by Chidambaram’s legal team that the former finance minister had been charged under provisions of the money laundering law that took effect in June 2009 after amendments to the legislation, long after the alleged crime took place in 2007.

11:10 am IST

ED slipped up as it invoked a provision in money laundering law: Chidambaram’s legal team

Chidambaram’s legal team had argued that the ED had slipped up because it invoked a provision in the money laundering law that came into effect only in 2009 though the allegations against Chidambaram related to the INX Media case of 2008.

The government’s second most senior law officer Mehta also told the Supreme Court that ED has received specific inputs from foreign countries about P Chidambaram’s assets abroad.

11:08 am IST

ED, CBI are probing how Karti Chidambaram got clearance

The ED and the CBI are probing how his son Karti Chidambaram got clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2007 for the INX Media group when his father was the finance minister. Karti Chidambaram was arrested last year by CBI for allegedly accepting money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media. He was later granted bail.

The case of money laundering is linked to the government’s approval of foreign investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in broadcaster INX Media Private Limited in 2007.

ED has accused Chidambaram and his aides of creating “layers of money laundering web in a manner which is sufficient to make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track the money trail of proceeds of crime.”

11:05 am IST

The case against P Chidambaram so far

The case of corruption is linked to the government’s approval of foreign investment in INX Media Private Limited in 2007, when Chidambaram was finance minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. CBI registered a first information report on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the manner the clearance had been awarded. Later, ED filed a money-laundering case against him.