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INX Media corruption case: SC refuses to grant Karti Chidambaram interim protection from arrest, seeks response from ED

Karti Chidambaram had sought quashing of the ED's summons against him in the INX Media corruption case.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 06, 2018 13:59 IST ]
File photo of former Union minister P Chidambaram with his
File photo of former Union minister P Chidambaram with his son Karti.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, interim protection from arrest in alleged graft related to INX Media and sought response from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the matter, according to a PTI report.

Karti Chidambaram had sought quashing of the ED's summons against him in the INX Media corruption case. 

The Supreme court also sought response from the ED on Karti Chidambaram's fresh plea seeking protection from arrest and listed the matter for March 8.

Earlier in the day, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Supreme Court that it will seek extension of Karti Chidambaram's custody before trial court in INX media corruption case.

"We are willing to co-operate in every way and we also did so. I am worried about my arrest," Kapil Sibal told the SC appearing for Karti Chidambaram.

The SC also issued notice to the ED on the PMLA case registered against Karti Chidambaram and posted the matter for further hearing on March 8.

In his fresh writ petition before SC, Karti Chidambaram had challenged the summons on the ground that the ED has no jurisdiction to issue such notices based on the FIR lodged by the CBI. 

The plea was mentioned on Monday by his counsel before a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which agreed to hear it along with related pending matters scheduled for hearing on Tuesday. 

The top court had on February 23 refused to stay the summons issued by the ED against Karti -- who is presently in CBI custody in the INX Media money laundering case -- after the CBI said he was "not a common criminal" and his plea for quashing the notice was "a guise for an anticipatory bail plea". 

However, the top court had asked Karti to request the competent authority to postpone the ED summons seeking his appearance. 

The bench had listed the matter for hearing on March 6 after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who had appeared for Karti, sought time to file a proper application to challenge the ED proceedings. 

The ED had registered a case against him and others in May last year. It registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED's equivalent of a police FIR, against the accused named in a CBI complaint. These included Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. 

An FIR, filed on May 15 last year, had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving Rs 305 crore in overseas funds in 2007 when P Chidambaram was Union finance minister. 

The apex court was hearing pleas, including the CBI's appeal, challenging the Madras High Court order staying a lookout circular (LOC) issued against Karti Chidambaram. 

The CBI had on September 1 last year said there were "good, cogent" reasons for issuing the LOC. 

The Chidambarams have denied all the charges made against them. 

- With inputs from ANI and PTI.

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