Will Chidambaram’s plea in SC today be rendered infructuous in the wake of his arrest
New Delhi, Aug 23: The Supreme Court is set to hear a petition filed by former union minister, P Chidambaram, challenging an order of the Delhi High Court that rejected his plea for an anticipatory bail in the INX Media case.
Anticipatory bail is protection from arrest. However, in the wake of Chidambaram already being arrested and remanded in CBI custody, the petition in the Supreme Court may not have much of meaning.
The court is hearing a petition today in which he has sought protection from arrest by the CBI. However, what he would focus on more is the other plea that seeks protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, which will be taken up by the Supreme Court on August 27.
On Thursday, a Delhi court had remanded Chidambaram in CBI custody until August 26. However, if he is granted bail after his remand period ends, the ED would look to arrest him. It is in this context that the hearing on the plea against the ED in the Supreme Court becomes more important for Chidambaram and his legal team.
If the Supreme Court sets aside the order of the Delhi High Court, it would mean Chidambaram would get interim protection from arrest by the ED.
However, the going would not be easy as the ED, like the CBI has also filed a caveat in the SC. As a result of this, the court will not grant any interim order to Chidambaram unless and until the agencies are heard.
Chidambaram's legal team may look to amend the petition that has been filed against the CBI. The team could push for regular bail instead of interim bail in the wake of the arrest already being carried out.
The Supreme Court would have many options before it. It could reject the plea as the arrest has already been carried out. If the petition is amended and regular bail is sought, it could either grant or reject it.
The Supreme Court would also weigh in on the various developments that have taken place in the past two days. The trial court, which allowed the custodial remand had taken into account the submission by the CBI that Chidambaram was being evasive.
The Supreme Court normally does not interfere in such a process, when the trial court has applied its mind while granting custodial remand.