The Supreme Court Wednesday extended Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram’s interim protection from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrest in connection with the INX Media money laundering case till Thursday. The apex court will continue hearing arguments in the case tomorrow.
The bench, comprising of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna, heard arguments made by ED’s counsel Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who claimed that the Congress leader was trying to play the ‘victim card’ and was preventing the probe agency from exercising its right to arrest him in the case.
“This is not a witch hunt as alleged by them. We have material to show that it is a serious case of money laundering. We have collected cogent materials in the case,” Mehta told the bench, reported PTI.
On Tuesday, Chidambaram had claimed that the investigating agencies were out to “humiliate” him, he urged the top court to direct the ED to produce transcripts of his questioning on three occasions earlier. This, he said, would establish that he had not been evasive in his replies.
Mehta says Chidambaram playing “victim card”. Refers to Sr Adv A M Sighvi saying that ED was trying to arrest him only to “humiliate me, humiliate me, humiliate me”. Says it’s not for that but “only for protection, protection, protection, with capital P”. @IndianExpress
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) August 28, 2019
To this, the ED counsel told the court, ‘It’s not for that but ‘only for protection, protection, protection, with capital P’.
The court is hearing a plea filed by Chidambaram who has challenged the Delhi High Court’s ruling of August 20 denying Chidambaram an anticipatory bail in cases lodged by CBI and ED.
CBI had registered an FIR in May 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the INX group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007. Chidambaram was Union Finance Minister at the time. Last year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a case of money laundering, and the CBI called Chidambaram for questioning.