Special Judge O P Saini granted relief to Karti Chidambaram after the counsel for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought time to argue on Karti’s application seeking anticipatory bail. T
Karti Chidambaram had been summoned by the CBI and ED multiple times for questioning in the case, but he declined to appear on the ground that all the accused in the case had been discharged and so the agencies could not question him.
“He committed a serious crime and has not cooperated with investigation. The investigation conducted so far shows deep involvement of the accused in committing the offence of money laundering and shielding other accused persons who are part of the deep- rooted conspiracy,” the ED said in its plea.
The advent of e-commerce has made investigation into money laundering more difficult as ill-gotten wealth has been transferred to all corners of the world very conveniently after the globalisation, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said.
Aircel-Maxis case: Special Judge O P Saini gave three weeks time to the investigating agencies CBI and Enforcement Directorate to file their replies on Karti’s anticipatory bail pleas. The court also said that Karti shall not leave the country without its permission
During the hour-long hearing, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal sought anticipatory bail for Karti in the Aircel Maxis cases lodged by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
Karti’s counsel had argued that no case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was made out against him since the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had neither questioned any public servant, nor made them an accused in the matter.
The counsel for Bhaskararaman had moved an anticipatory bail application on March 12 before the court apprehending that after the ED, the CBI would seek his custody for interrogation.
The CBI opposed the bail plea saying that tampering of evidence and influencing witnesses in the case was a possibility.
“The interim relief granted by the High Court… shall remain in force till the next date of hearing, i.e., 26.03.2018,” the bench ordered.
The apex court also transferred to itself the matter pending before the Delhi High Court keeping in view that several high courts in the country have given conflicting views on the interpretation of section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which relates to ED’s power to arrest an accused.
Referring to the order, Gurumurthy, in a tweet had asked: “Is it true that Justice Muralidhar who decided the Karthi petition today was a junior under PC?” The tweet has since been deleted.
Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, on Monday moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail, hours after a court sent him to judicial custody till March 24.
A special court had earlier in the day sent Karti to judicial custody in the INX Media corruption case and dismissed his plea that he be put in a separate cell in Tihar Jail in view of a threat perception.
Meanwhile, Karti’s counsel asked the court to hear his bail plea too, which was listed for March 15. He also sought a separate cell in case Karti was sent to judicial custody.