P Chidambaram (Mint file)
P Chidambaram (Mint file)

SC extends interim protection to Chidambaram against arrest till Thursday

  • INX Media case: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said Chidambaram was trying to play the 'victim card' to prevent the ED from exercising its right to arrest him
  • Mehta also provided a large compilation of case laws to the court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended till 29 August the interim protection granted on 23 August to P Chidambaram from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media money laundering case.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justices R. Banumathi and A.S. Bopanna started hearing arguments advanced by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the ED. Senior Counsels Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi have argued Chidambaram’s plea for anticipatory bail against the ED for the last two days.

Mehta contended that Chidambaram was trying to play the "victim card" to prevent the ED from exercising its right to arrest him. He also remarked that, “we would be dealing with very intelligent people. A stupid man cannot launder money. Money laundering requires layers and layers of concealment."

"A ghost is sought to be created by playing the victim card," Mehta said, while opposing the grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram

To substantiate his stand to not disclose evidence to the accused ahead of filing of the chargesheet, Mehta provided a large compilation of case laws to the court.

Sibal interjected the arguments and contended that the accused person should be “confronted" with evidence before the evidence was placed in court.

Justice Bhanumati also cleared the stand taken by Chidambaram to the Solicitor General. "This is not a witch hunt as alleged by them. We have material to show that it is a serious case of money laundering. We have collected cogent materials in the case," Mehta apprised the bench.

The bench shall continue hearing the arguments at 11:30 am on Thursday.

Chidamabram has been in police custody since 22 August and his remand with the CBI will end on Friday.

The apex court is hearing a plea filed by Chidambaram, who has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court that denied him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED.

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