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Thursday 9 April 2020

Chidambaram, facing imminent arrest, on the run

The pleas of Chidambaram were turned down by both the Delhi high court and the Supreme Court; he is reportedly absconding since 6:30 PM, Tuesday

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New Delhi: On Tuesday evening, a team of six officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrived at the house of former Union Minister P Chidambaram. Connected with corruption and money laundering cases related to the INX Media scandal, Chidambaram had plead for an urgent hearing of his anticipatory bail petition to the Delhi High Court. Hours after the Supreme Court turned down the senior Congress leader’s petition, the CBI visited his house. The apex court denied him anticipatory bail once the Delhi High Court rejected it, opening up the possibility of his arrest.

A team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers had arrived at the residence of Chidambaram an hour before the Delhi High Court had dismissed his two anticipatory bail pleas.

Only after Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal discussed with Chidambaram the situation after the Delhi High Court order, the plea seeking a stay on the operation of the order for three days was moved to the Supreme Court. The deliberations in the apex court were also joined by Senior Advocates Salman Khurshid and Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s bench will now be taking up the plea on Wednesday.

“P Chidambaram has sought an appeal in Supreme Court tomorrow. His bail was rejected today but what was the urgency for ED and CBI to haunt him tonight,” Anand Sharma said.

As the Delhi High Court turned down his plea, Chidambaram faces imminent arrest. Justice Sunil Gaur, denying him protection from arrest, said that his status as a Member of Parliament and member of legal profession do not affect the decisions taken.

Congress leader Anand Sharma also added, “This is not a criminal trial. What is happening today is not good for democracy.”

On several occasions, Chidambaram has been questioned regarding allegations on his son, Karti, to have received kickbacks in 2007, in exchange for him allowing the television company INX media to receive foreign funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Chidambaram’s counsel, said to a television channel, “Chidambaram was with me till 6.30 PM in my chamber.” No agency has found any trace of him ever since.

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