CBI at Chidambaram’s door, PC goes missing

Congress leader P Chidambaram has suffered a major setback as the Delhi High Court dismissed his anticipatory bail in the INX Media scam, paving way for the investigating agencies, CBI and ED, to arrest him.

The court also ruled out any interim protection from arrest, prompting Chidambaram to move the Supreme Court. The case will be mentioned in the apex court on Wednesday.

 Hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant any protection from arrest to Chidambaram, a team of officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrived at his posh Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi to locate him, officials said.

The Congress leader appeared to be in deep legal trouble and faced possible arrest after the High Court refused to grant him anticipatory bail, saying he seems to be the “kingpin” and “key conspirator” in the INX media case of money laundering and he needs to be interrogated in custody for the investigation to be effective.

“We are looking for him, our teams have fanned out across the city. If we find him tonight, he will be arrested,” an ED official said. The CBI issued a notice to Chidambaram asking him to appear before the investigation officer “within two hours”, after failing to find him at his residence.

The Chidambarams were named in the case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who owned INX Media at the time. The two are currently in jail, accused of being involved in the murder of Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter Sheena Bora.

Last year, the Enforcement Directorate lodged a money laundering case in this regard. The two agencies have already questioned Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram. In July 2018, the high court granted Chidambaram interim protection from arrest and it was extended from time to time.

Arshdeep Singh Khurana, P Chidambaram’s lawyer, wrote to CBI after CBI had put up a notice outside Chidambaram’s residence: ” I am instructed to state that your notice fails to mention the provision of law under which my client has been issued a notice to appear within 2 hours. Furthermore, my client is exercising the rights available to him in law & had approached the Supreme Court on August 20 seeking urgent reliefs in respect of the order dismissing his anticipatory bail (in INX media case).

He has been permitted by SC to mention the urgent Special Leave Petition against the order before Court at 10:30 am today. I, therefore, request you not to take any coercive action against my client till then & await the hearing at 10:30 am.”