The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order granting Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, interim protection from arrest in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
The matter was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Tuesday. The court directed that it be listed on March 15 before “an appropriate Bench, as per roster, subject to removal of defects, if any”.
The agency, in its petition, is learnt to have said that the high court should not have granted the relief to Karti on a petition filed under Article 226 (which deals with the power of high courts to issue certain writs). The ED also pointed out that over a thousand cases were being probed by it across the country and the HC order was likely to impact these as the accused in those cases might want similar relief.
Karti had earlier approached the apex court with a petition challenging ED proceedings against him under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case. The apex court declined to grant any interim relief but allowed him to withdraw the plea and approach Delhi High Court.
On March 9, the high court asked ED not to arrest Karti, who is in CBI custody in the case — in case he gets bail in the CBI case —till it heard the matter next. Granting him the relief, the court said it was yet to decide the constitutional validity of Section 19 of PMLA which deals with the ED’s power to arrest.