SC refuses any relief to Karti in ED's summons

SC refuses any relief to Karti in ED's summons

SC refuses any relief to Karti in ED's summons

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant any relief to Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who faced a summons by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a case relating to FIPB clearance to overseas investment in the INX Media.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Amitava Roy and D Y Chandrachud posted the matter for consideration on March 6. The court refrained from passing any order after the CBI's counsel vehemently opposed entertaining the plea on the ground on the summons issued to him by the ED were a part of the separate proceedings.

"Yes, maintainability of the application is troubling us," the bench observed, as senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Gopal Subramanium sought a direction to postpone the ED's summons from March 1 to March 9 or any other future date.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended, "This is abuse of the process of law. I accept that he (Karti) is not a common criminal but I ask myself, if the court will ever allow such a plea by a common criminal."

He submitted that the apex court is not examining the ED's case. "We were taken aback, when a copy of this application was served upon us. He wants a pre-emptive order. He is seeking anticipatory bail in the matter where ED is not even a party," Mehta said, contending the ED was not even represented by a counsel before the court.

Sibal, however, countered by contending both the cases were inter-related as the ED's case is about the proceeds of the crime in the case lodged by the CBI in May, last. "So far no charge sheet is filed. He is asked to come and join investigation at 3 am. They have all bank accounts and properties details. Yet they asked him to appear on March 1," he submitted.

The court, however, recorded statement from the counsel that he would appear before the competent authorities and seek time. According to the CBI, there were irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti's father was the Union Finance Minister.