P Chidambaram (Image: PTI)
P Chidambaram is set to end up either in ED custody or Tihar jail after he did not get relief from the Supreme Court in the INX Media Case on Thursday. The top court refused to grant him pre-arrest bail in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.
Chidambaram then withdrew the plea challenging his non-bailable, arrest and remand orders to CBI by trial court in the same case.
Chidambaram will be produced in Rouse Avenue Court later in the day. According to rules CBI can't extend his custody, which means the court will either give him bail or send him to judicial custody.
Chidambaram faces arrest by ED in case he is released on bail from CBI custody by the trial court. In that case, the ED can get him in custody for as many as 15 days. If Chidambaram doesn’t get interim bail then he will be remanded in judicial custody - in this instance, Tihar Jail.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court granted anticipatory bail to Chidambaram and his son Karti in Aircel Maxis cases filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. Special Judge OP Saini granted relief to the Chidambarams and directed them to join the probe in the cases.
Earlier, in a setback to Chidambaram, the Supreme Court refused to grant him relief in the case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.
The top court dismissed Chidambaram's plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict denying him anticipatory bail in the case, saying economic offence has to be dealt with differently as it affects economy of the country.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna said it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail. Grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram at this stage will hamper investigation, it said.
The investigating agency has to be given sufficient freedom to conduct probe into the case, the apex court said.
It also rejected Chidambaram's application for direction to the ED to produce transcripts of his questioning conducted by the agency on three dates.
The top court said that it has power to peruse case diary even before commencement of trial and added that it has refrained from perusing documents placed before it by ED in sealed cover as it may prejudice other accused.
Anticipatory bail is not a matter of right and refusing the relief is not violation of Article 21, it said.
The apex court, however, said Chidambaram can approach the court concerned for grant of regular bail in the case.
The Supreme Court later allowed Chidambaram to withdraw his plea against non-bailable warrant and remand orders of the trial court in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI.
Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna passed the order after senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram, said they have decided to unconditionally withdraw the petition.
(With PTI Inputs)