The Supreme Court on Thursday extended till 5 September the interim protection granted to P. Chidambaram against arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media money laundering case.
A two-member bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi and comprising Justice A.S. Bopanna also reserved the pronouncement of the order to until 5 September. The order shall answer two pleas—firstly whether anticipatory bail should be granted to Chidambaram and secondly, whether the court can rely on the material collected by the probe agency to grant arrest.
According to legal provisions, the apex court has the power to seek information noted in the “case diary" but for the purposes of keeping a tab on the investigation proceedings and the probe agency. The material cannot be used by the court to ascertain whether an accused person should be arrested as it is a corroborative evidence only.
The divisions bench also directed the ED to place before it in a sealed cover the material which the probe agency wanted to produce for the court’s perusal. The said material has to be deposited within three days. The apex court however made it clear that the questions as to whether the material would be perused by the court will be decided in its 5 September order.
The legal counsels of Chidambaram also mentioned the pending petition challenging the remand and extension of remand by the CBI court. The Supreme Court shall hear the remand petition against the CBI on Monday.
Continuing his arguments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing ED, strongly argued against showing the evidence to the accused person. He said that, “the art of investigation is that we reveal certain things and choose not to in some cases. If we confront him with 15 money trails and he really has 30, he will do his best to wipe out the rest." While arguing further on not showing the evidence to the accused person at pre-bail stage, Mehta said “this turns the ‘apple cart on its head’. We have to say ‘yes sir, this is the evidence, this is my informer, and these are the records I have’. I will have to come to court at his convenience when he files for anticipatory bail."
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.