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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

INX Media case: Give scanned copies of ‘unrelied upon documents’ to prevent delay, Court tells ED

The ED had submitted a list of all unrelied upon documents and told the court that there is no more list of documents in its possession.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: January 25, 2022 12:38:53 pm
INX media case money laundering chidrambramIn May 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was Finance Minister. (File Photo)

Observing that “so much of time and human resources will be wasted” in the inspection of “unrelied upon documents” in the INX Media money laundering case, a Delhi court has ordered the Enforcement Directorate to provide a scanned copy of the list of all documents to prevent further delay in the case.

Special Judge MK Nagpal passed the order on Monday after two separate applications on behalf of former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son, Karti Chidambaram, were filed on January 22, seeking inspection of unrelied upon documents by the ED. Former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea also filed a similar application on Monday.

The court had on November 30 directed ED to prepare and file in court a list of all the unrelied upon documents in their possession, except the documents that are required to be kept confidential in view of the ongoing further investigation, and also the documents that may be returned back to the person from whom the same had been seized.

In fact, the Delhi High Court had also directed the CBI in a connected case to supply the accused with unrelied upon documents of the case on November 10, 2011.

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The ED had submitted a list of all unrelied upon documents and told the court that there is no more list of documents in its possession.

The court said: “On a careful perusal of these applications, it has been observed that the accused persons are seeking inspection of almost all the documents which are found included in the said list and in the considered opinion of this court, so much of time and human resources will be wasted in the above exercise of inspection of unrelied upon documents, which consist of not more than 2000 pages for an accused.”

The court noted that it has earlier come on record that the copies of relied upon documents of this case supplied to the accused persons consisted of around 14,000 pages.

“This court sees no reason as to why the complainant cannot supply copies of 2,000 more pages of documents to the accused to avoid the above prolonged and cumbersome process of inspection of records… Moreover, no unnecessary burden of expenses is going to be imposed upon the complainant as copies of these documents may be conveniently supplied in e-form in a pen drive or CD,” the court said.

The court also said that instead of permitting the accused persons to inspect the documents, it was directing the ED to supply the scanned copies of all documents in the list of unrelied upon documents to not only save the time of the defence counsels and the agency but also “save the precious time of court and will further curtail the unnecessary delay in proceedings of the case.”

In May 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was Finance Minister. The ED later lodged a money laundering case in the matter.

On March 24, 2021, the court had taken cognizance of the ED chargesheet following which the scrutiny of documents in this case began.

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