INX Media case: Anxiety for Chidambaram over HC's written order
New Delhi, Jul 9: It was a nerve-wracking moment for former union minister P Chidambaram last week when he found that the interim protection from arrest, granted by the Delhi High Court in the INX Media case, was not present in the written order though it was orally pronounced.
However, the matter was set right today when Justice A K Pathak wrote in the order that the "interim order shall continue till the next date of hearing, that is August 1". The matter was raised in the high court today by Chidambaram's counsel -- senior advocate Dayan Krishnan and advocates Pramod Dubey and Arshdeep Singh, who told Justice Pathak that the court had orally extended the interim protection from arrest to the senior Congress leader on July 3, but this did not find a mention in the written order.
Urging that this part should be added in the order, they said there was urgency in the matter as the July 3 order was made available on July 6, which had only stated that "Learned ASG submits that reply will be filed during course of the day.
List on August 1, 2018, at the end of the Board. In the meanwhile, rejoinder, if any, be filed." The court added the line in the order after the CBI investigating officer said he had no objections. The matter was mentioned before a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal in the morning, which ordered its listing before the concerned judge today itself. Chidambaram was earlier granted interim protection from arrest on May 31.
Soon after Chidambaram was granted protection, the CBI had on July 3 itself pressed for his custodial interrogation in the INX Media case alleging that it was necessary because he has remained evasive and non-cooperative during questioning.
The high court had then asked the senior Congress leader to join questioning and cooperate in the investigation as and when called by the CBI. In Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea, it was contended that he was being harassed in the case, in which he was not named.
In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15 last year against alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to the media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as the Finance Minister. Chidambaram's son Karti was also arrested in the matter on February 28 for allegedly receiving funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case. He was granted bail on March 23. The other accused in the case include then INX Media Director Indrani Mukerjea and then INX News Director Peter Mukerjea.