The Supreme Court has extended protection from arrest granted to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case until August 28.
In a related development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Supreme Court that it would move a plea seeking cancellation of the bail granted to his son Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media case.
Earlier during the hearing, Chidambaram's counsel sought transcripts of his interrogation conducted by the Enforcement Directorate on three dates in the INX Media money laundering case.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal who appeared for Chidambaram stated that the ED cannot place documents in the court randomly “behind the back” to seek the custody of his client.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi who also appeared for Chidambaram cited the Supreme Court's decision in the ADM Jabalpur case.
Singhvi questioned the purpose of producing material before the court without presenting it to the accused party itself, thus making a point on preventive detention.
Singhvi argued that the alleged acts took place prior to the amendment of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which was notified in 2009.
He argued that the PMLA sections Chidambaram is charged under in the FIR were declared offenses only in June 2009 through notification of amendment of the PMLA, one year after the alleged acts took place.
He stated that Chidambaram is being painted as a kingpin of an alleged offense which did not exist as an offense at the time it was committed.
Singhvi stated that the order of the Delhi High Court against Chidambaram is based on a distorted idea of evasion.
He stated that so long Chidambaram makes himself available for questioning, he could give whatever answer to questions posed to him and is not obliged to give answers which investigating agencies wish to hear.
Further arguments in the INX Media case will continue on August 28 when Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta is expected to argue on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate.