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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

INX Media case: Delhi HC stays trial court proceedings involving Chidambaram

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued notice and sought responses of Chidambaram and others on the CBI's plea challenging the trial court order directing supply of documents to the accused.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 18, 2021 1:14:32 pm
aircel maxis case, p chidambaram aircel maxis case, karti chidambaram aircel maxis case, cases against chidambaramFormer Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram. (File)

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed trial proceedings in the INX Media case in which Congress leader P Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidambaram and others are accused of cheating and corruption.

The court passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the CBI against a trial court directing it to produce and also supply to the accused persons all the documents collected or statements recorded by it during the course of the investigation. The trial court in the order passed on March 05 also permitted the accused to conduct inspections of the record lying in Malkhana of CBI.

Justice Suresh Kait Tuesday issued notice and sought responses of Chidambaram and others on CBI’s plea.

In its plea, the CBI argued that there is neither any provision in CrPC which “casts a duty upon the investigating agency to forward to court documents on which it does not rely upon” nor is there any provision which empowers the Magistrate to allow the accused to inspect the documents which are neither filed in court nor relied upon by the prosecution.

The central agency also has contended that the accused cannot claim an “indefeasible right” to claim every document of the police file or even the portions which are permitted to be excluded from the documents annexed to the chargesheet. “CBI has filed in court a list of documents along with the documents it relies upon and has supplied copies thereof to the respondents/accused,” it has told the HC in its petition.

The court cannot assist the accused in search of a plausible defence, the CBI has further argued. “It is the basic principle of criminal law that thought it is the duty of the prosecution to prove its case, however, the accused is supposed to either give the true version before the Court or remain silent. An accused cannot build a false or imaginary defence, after examining the documents,” reads the petition.

The CBI had registered its case on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED had lodged the money laundering case.

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