The Supreme Court Friday granted interim protection from arrest to Congress leader P Chidambaram in the alleged money laundering and corruption matter linked to the INX Media case. A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna has scheduled the next hearing for August 26.
The apex court will also hear on that day Chidambaram’s plea for anticipatory bail in the case filed by CBI as well as his petition challenging order remanding him to CBI custody.
Appearing for the prosecuting agencies, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said Chidambaram has been evasive in the past and “unless interrogated in custody, it will not be possible to unearth this huge conspiracy”. Mehta said the High Court order was passed after seeing case diaries.
On money laundering charge, the Solicitor General stated when Peter and Indrani Mukerjea met Chidambaram, he assured them FIPB clearance and in turn wanted his son’s interests to be taken care of and added that agencies had found the money trail and discovered that shell companies were created absorbed by persons connected to Chidambaram. The agency had traced 10 properties abroad and 17 bank accounts created in this connection, Mehta said.
Appearing for Chidambaram, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal said that after the arguments in the matter ended in the High Court, the prosecution handed over a note to the judge. He claimed that some parts of the High Court judgment were “cut and paste” from the same note.
Mehta objected to Sibal’s comments and said, “don’t make false statements” to which the latter rebutted and said he was not making false statements.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi also appearing for Chidambaram, said the High Court judge had referred to an “unconnected case” – Aircel Maxis – to deny bail to Chidambaram. This shows “how the mind is working to deny me relief”, added Singhvi.