INX Media: Stupids can’t launder money, ED says while seeking Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation
New Delhi, Aug 28: The Enforcement Directorate will conclude its submissions tomorrow on a plea by former union minister, P Chidambaram that sought protection from arrest by the agency. After hearing submissions at length, the court today extended the interim protection granted to the former minister by another day.
Appearing for the ED in the INX Media case, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta underscored the importance of questioning Chidambaram. We wont arrest him to have a cup of tea with us, Mehta said. He further added that Chidambaram continued to launder money even after the amendment to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. This was in reaponse to Chidambaram telling the SC that the alleged transaction took place before the amendment, prior to which it was not an offence.
Mehta further stated that this is not a witch-hunt. We have credible material to prove that we have a prima facie case against the accused. A ghosh is created by playing the victim card. We oppose the anticipatory bail plea, Mehta also said.
He further said that there is no failure or prejudice caused to the accused if the police diary is placed before the court. The case diary was given to the Delhi High Court to justify the apprehensions felt by the probe agencies about the accused on the basis of the evidence collected by them. The same cannot be shared with the accused. Constitutional courts are not fettered in the their objective to deliver complete justice, Mehta also submitted.
A stupid person cannot launder money. It requires extensive planning. It is pre-meditated and well crafted and is difficult to unravel on how it was done, Mehta also said while pressing for Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation.
Arguing for the former minister, senior advocate, Kapil Sibal said that the application filed to produce transcripts for interrogation, documents relied on by the ED can never be part of the case diary. Behind Chidambaram’s back, you cannot place documents and seek arrest. Even in matters of detention this is not possible, he said.
Let them show transcripts of the questioning done on 3 former occasions in December 2018 and January 2019 to see whether they had confronted him with the documents, Sibal also said.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi also arguing for Chidambaram said that the questions put before the accused and the answers should be given to the court.
On Monday, the court had extended protection to Chidambaram from being arrested by the ED.
On Monday, Kapil Sibal said that the Delhi High Court judgment was a word to word copy of a secret note given by the probe agency.
This was countered by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said that the contents were taken from the records of the case.
Sibal sought to know how conclusions could be drawn without an affidavit being filed.
After having being questioned for over 26 hours, the only question that the CBI has asked P Chidambaram is whether he maintains a bank account in Britain, senior Sibal told the Supreme Court.