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From His Arrest to Custodial Interrogation, How Chidambaram Has Challenged it All in Supreme Court

From his arrest following some dramatic actions by the CBI sleuths to the special judge handing him over to the agency for custodial interrogation, P Chidambaram has challenged it all in the top court.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:August 26, 2019, 11:52 AM IST
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From His Arrest to Custodial Interrogation, How Chidambaram Has Challenged it All in Supreme Court
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New Delhi: A lot is at stake for P Chidambaram as well as for the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate when the Supreme Court takes up the former union finance minister’s petitions on Monday.

A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi will hear Chidambaram's three petitions — two against the CBI's actions and the third one to ward off ED's crackdown.

For the former home and finance minister, a propitious order by the Supreme Court is the key to open all doors.

From his arrest following some dramatic actions by the CBI sleuths to the special judge handing him over to the agency for custodial interrogation, Chidambaram has challenged it all in the top court.

Many would not appreciate how Chidambaram could challenge the custodial remand order of the trial court directly in the Supreme Court. But in Chidambaram's petition, his lawyers are imploring upon the highest court of the land to invoke its highest powers under Article 142 "to do the justice".

His legal team would strive to persuade the judges that his arrest was illegal, and consequently his custodial remand was bad from the very beginning.

Not just this, Chidambaram's lawyers would try to pre-empt any action by the ED to arrest him or ask for his custody separately.

On the last date, Justice Banumathi observed that Chidambaram has cooperated with the ED all along. He was always on pre-arrest bail in the money laundering case, the judge had further noted. This is how the Supreme Court had protected Chidambaram from arrest by ED till Monday’s hearing.

On the other hand, the proceedings are going to be equally crucial for the CBI and the ED, especially after Friday's order, the first favourable order for Chidambaram since his arrest.

The CBI will challenge Chidambaram directly moving the Supreme Court, bypassing the Delhi High Court, in challenging the custodial remand order.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will emphasise upon the legal position in this regard, and will submit that once the trial judge has applied his minds, the Supreme Court should not interdict further investigation by way of interim orders.

The CBI will also have to satisfy the apex court why it was necessary to arrest the veteran Congress leader and what has been the outcome of its custodial interrogation so far. And the road will be more difficult for ED. There is already an interim protection order in favour of Chidambaram, along with certain positive remarks on his conduct.

The ED, Chidambaram's legal team believed, was on the prowl. Once CBI's custody was to get over, it was supposed that ED will arrest Chidambaram and will press for his custodial interrogation separately.

But the Supreme Court's order on Friday has put ED's plan in peril. It must convince the judges to vacate the interim order.

The special judge in the CBI court will also be bound by the Supreme Court's orders passed in these cases, and will have hence await the outcome of the proceedings there.

All eyes will be on the Supreme Court on Monday.

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