Pulling up the CBI and ED for seeking repeated adjournments, a Delhi court on Friday refused to adjourn hearing in the Aircel-Maxis cases against former Union finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.
Both the probe agencies were seeking adjournment on the ground that another case, pertaining to INX Media and involving the father-son duo, was pending in the Supreme Court.
The court also extended interim protection from arrest to Chidambaram and Karti till September 3, while reserving the order until then on their anticipatory bail application.
Taking strong objection to the adjournments, District and Sessions Judge O P Saini said, “Things have become very embarrassing for me. I have adjourned it for months… It has become very cumbersome for me. You make the same submissions again and again.”
His order read, “An application for adjournment has been filed by K M Natraj, ASG, submitting that the instant matter may be adjourned to Tuesday as the case pertaining to INX Media is coming up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Monday and the decision of that case may have a bearing on the outcome of instant bail application. However, I do not find any merit in the application and the same is dismissed.”
The court said that both the matters — Aircel-Maxis and INX Media — were different.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, told the court that he was “prejudiced on a daily basis because in the eyes of the public he is an accused”.
The court also said that the prosecution was seeking adjournment till Tuesday but there was no ground for adjourning the matter further as the prosecution had already sought and availed of a large number of adjournments. It, however, gave the CBI and ED liberty to argue the matter any time before that date.
“Prosecution is at liberty to make its submissions on any date, at any time, on any working day during working hours before that date. Prosecution is also at liberty to file written submissions, if so desired by them, with advance copy to the opposite party,” the court said.
Chidambaram was first examined by the CBI in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case in December 2014. He is alleged to have played a role in giving FIPB approval for the deal.
It was alleged that the Aircel-Maxis deal was worth over Rs 3,500 crore.
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