The Supreme Court has granted interim protection from arrest until August 26, to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case, which is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A bench headed by Justice R banumathi stated that it is inclined to continue Chidambaram’s interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, and he had it earlier as well.
Chidambaram also challenged the trial court order awarding four-day CBI custody during the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea moved by him in two cases connected to INX media.
Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED case will be listed before the Supreme Court bench shortly, to examine the legality of taking Chidambaram into custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED.
During the arguments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated that digital evidence establishing e-mail exchanges in connection with money laundering and stashing away of illegitimate money has been recovered.
Mehta told the court that it has been established prima facie that shell companies were created abroad by the people having close association with Chidambaram, who had also executed a will in the name of the granddaughter of Chidambaram.
There is a need to investigate and confront Chidambaram with that piece of information, Mehta stated, adding that there is high probability of the will having been destroyed.
Mehta pressed for for custodial interrogation of Chidambaram in the money laundering case and told the court that investigations have revealed that 10 immovable and 17 bank accounts in foreign countries were directly linked to Chidambaram.
At the end of the hearing, Mehta attempted to hand over a sealed envelope which he claimed contained crucial evidence to establish Chidambaram's culpability in the case.
However, the court refused to accept it and listed both matters for hearing shortly.