In a big development in the former finance minister P Chidambaram's INX media case, the Supreme Court registrar has said that the hearing will be take place on Friday. P Chidambaram's counsel on Wednesday appealed to the apex court for an interim relief from the arrest of the Congress leader after Delhi High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case. Even after Chidambaram's counsel urged the Chief Justice of India for the urgent hearing of the case, the CJI referred the case to the registrar who then said that the hearing will be on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Chidambaram's petition seeking protection from arrest was mentioned before a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, M Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi who said the case will be put before CJI Ranjan Gogoi. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI and ED, told the bench that it was a case of money laundering of "monumental magnitude". One of the law officers assisting Mehta said, "We are ready and fully prepared to oppose any move by Chidambaram". At the outset, Sibal told the apex court that Chidambaram's plea was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday. He said Chidambaram was granted protection from arrest for more than a year in the INX case lodged by the CBI and ED. Sibal said that the high court had also refused to grant any protection from arrest to Chidambaram to enable him to approach the apex court. "The matter should be heard. I (Chidamabaram) should not be arrested in the meanwhile," Sibal said. He also told the court that at 2 am on Wednesday the probe agencies pasted a notice on Chidambaram's house that he has to appear before them within two hours. When Sibal said they have got their petition numbered from the Registry, the bench said, "You finish all formalities."
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Chidambaram in the INX media case. He had approached the court with an anticipatory bail plea in the corruption and money laundering case against him. During arguments in the court, both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed his plea on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required as he was evasive during questioning. After Delhi High Court's order, P Chidambaram was seen outside the Supreme Court and his lawyer Abhishek Singhvi said that the former union minister was with him till 06;30 hours on Tuesday. Here is his last seen picture:
On Tuesday, around 10, CBI reached Chidambaram's residence but he was not present there. Top sources had told Republic that the Congress leader may be on the run over possibilty of arrest, if required by the probe agency. The CBI then pasted a summon at his residence providing him a two hour window to appear. Following the summon, Chidambaram's Congress counsel appealed the CBI to not take coercive action.
5:08 PM Tuesday: Chidambaram was last seen
7:04 PM Tuesday: CBI team arrived at his Delhi residence
7:20 PM Tuesday: Team leaves after the Congress leader's whereabouts were unknown.
11:30 PM Tuesday: CBI team pastes summon on his main gate asking him to appear in 2 hours
1:10 AM Wednesday: Chidambaram's lawyer writes to the CBI
8:10 AM Wednesday: The CBI team arrives at the former Union Minister's home again