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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Top Congress lawyers gear up for legal fight in SC today

After the Delhi high court rejected his anticipatory bail application, Chidambaram, Sibal, Singhvi and Khurshid went into a huddle in Singhvi’s chambers to quickly decide on the future course of action.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2019 00:53 IST
The top legal brains of the Congress party - Abhishek Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid - have geared up for a legal battle at the Supreme Court on Wednesday to prevent former union minister P Chidambaram’s arrest in connection with the INX Media case.
The top legal brains of the Congress party - Abhishek Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid - have geared up for a legal battle at the Supreme Court on Wednesday to prevent former union minister P Chidambaram’s arrest in connection with the INX Media case. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
         

The top legal brains of the Congress party - Abhishek Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid - have geared up for a legal battle at the Supreme Court on Wednesday to prevent former union minister P Chidambaram’s arrest in connection with the INX Media case.

They are likely to highlight Chidambaram’s track record of responding to all summons issued by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), cite the date of the alleged offence and other details, and argue that there is absolutely no legal ground for his arrest.

After the Delhi high court rejected his anticipatory bail application, Chidambaram, Sibal, Singhvi and Khurshid went into a huddle in Singhvi’s chambers to quickly decide on the future course of action.

Singhvi was also not impressed with a delay in the Delhi high court’s ruling on the matter. “The matter was heard seven months ago with the order reserved for seven months. It is unfortunate that a request to defer the order was decided at 4pm, making it impossible for us to raise the issue at the Supreme Court,” Singhvi said.

He said the first thing that Chidambaram’s legal team will do is to take up the matter in the Supreme Court to prevent his arrest.

“For last many years, P Chidambaram attended every summons issued by the CBI as well as the ED without any single default. He has been on anticipatory bail for over last 15 months. There is absolutely no probable cause for arrest,” Singhvi added.

While Singhvi may not be personally present in the Supreme Court on Wednesday when the matter is taken up, his team and other legal brains are ready with what they call a “strong defence”.

The INX Media case is being probed by the CBI and the ED. The case involves alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.

CBI registered a first information report in the case on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance; the ED lodged a money laundering case a year later.

Singhvi also pointed out that Chidambaram is clear of the “triple risk” factor that generally prompts the arrest of an accused. “Our biggest argument is that there is no risk of him flying out of the country. They are no allegations of non-cooperation with probe agencies or tampering [with] evidence as the alleged offence goes back to 2007-2008.”

First Published: Aug 21, 2019 00:03 IST