New Delhi: In a major relief to Karti Chidambaram, the Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) not to arrest Congress leader P. Chidambaram’s son, accused in the INX Media money laundering case, till March 20.
The interim relief to Karti Chidambaram, 46, from “any coercive action” taken against him by the ED till the next hearing of the case came a day after the Supreme Court transferred to the Delhi High Court his plea seeking quashing of summons issued by the probe agency.
A High Court bench of Justices S. Muralidhar and I.S. Mehta, however, directed the businessman to cooperate in the investigation, appear before the ED whenever required and submit his passport.
Senior counsels Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Karti Chidambaram, told the court that they were apprehending sequential arrests of their client by the ED after he is freed from the custody of the CBI, which is separately probing the case.
Karti is being interrogated by the CBI since his February 28 arrest. His custody ended on Friday.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, special public prosecutor in the case, informed the High Court that the CBI would seek extension of his custodial interrogation for six more days.
Mehta said he was going to seek more time for filing a reply on the bail plea of Karti in the CBI court case against him.
Considering this, the High Court directed the CBI court to proceed in the matter without being influenced by the bench’s interim relief order.
Karti Chidambaram is being investigated for allegedly receiving money to facilitate Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister in the UPA government.
The CBI has alleged that Karti received kickbacks in the clearance of foreign investment worth Rs 305 crore for INX Media — owned by Peter and Indrani Mukherjea.
The Mukherjeas are in jail in a murder case.
The CBI said it has a recorded statement of Indrani Mukherjea accusing Karti Chidambaram of demanding and receiving a bribe to get the FIPB clearance.