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Blow for Karti, SC Refuses Interim Protection from Arrest by ED

Refusing to grant him anticipatory bail from arrest, the top court says doing so will affect the trail proceedings. The court also issued a notice to the ED on Karti’s fresh plea seeking protecting from arrest and listed the matter for March 8.

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Updated:March 6, 2018, 1:05 PM IST
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Blow for Karti, SC Refuses Interim Protection from Arrest by ED
Karti Chidambaram, son of former union minister P Chidambaram, leaves from CBI Headquarters to Patiala House court in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: In yet another setback for Karti Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant him interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case. Karti, the son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, is currently in CBI custody in the same case.

Refusing to grant him anticipatory bail, the top court says doing so will affect the trial proceedings. The court also issued a notice to the ED on Karti’s fresh plea seeking protecting from arrest and listed the matter for March 8.

In his latest plea, Karti had alleged that the ED was on a “fishing and roving enquiry” to malign the reputation of his father. He had contented that the ED cannot act against him until the CBI completes its probe.

“The CBI has committed contempt of Madras High Court by arresting me at the airport. The CBI hasn't even disclosed grounds of arrest,” Karti said in his plea.​

The CBI’s custody of Karti ends on Tuesday and his fresh bail will come up for hearing later in the day.

The top court had on February 23 refused to stay the summons issued by the ED against Karti 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.

Earlier, a single judge bench of the Madras High Court had stayed the LOC issued against Karti Chidambaram and others in the graft case.

Later, the apex court considered the CBI appeal and stayed the operation of the high court order staying the LOC.

The Supreme Court, however, has kept to itself another batch of petitions relating to registration of FIR in the corruption case.
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