PC, CBI in battle of nerves; ED issues lookout notice

PC, CBI in battle of nerves; ED issues lookout notice

They said the alert notice against the Congress leader, whose anticipatory bail was cancelled on Tuesday, has been sent to all land, air and seaports and law enforcement agencies at these facilities. (PTI File Photo)

The CBI and P Chidambaram played the battle of nerves throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, as the agency sought to corner the former Finance Minister in the INX Media case by pasting a notice on his residence's wall midnight to appear before it within two hours.

Adding colour to the drama, the Enforcement Directorate issued a fresh lookout circular against Chidambaram to restrict his movement across land, air and seaports. Later in the evening, CBI too joined the bandwagon issuing a lookout notice, as they “could not trace” him.

INX Media case Live Updates | Chidambaram's bail plea to be heard on Friday 

Chidambaram has not been seen in public since he left Supreme Court on Tuesday evening till he surfaced at the Congress headquarters at around 8:15 PM Wednesday. He said he was not hiding but with his team of lawyers preparing the papers to be submitted before the Supreme Court.

CBI officials camped at Chidambaram's Jor Bagh residence in the capital on Wednesday too. On Tuesday, the CBI and ED officials had rushed to his residence to arrest him after Delhi High Court turned down his plea but he was not to be seen there.

For a brief period, the officials left but returned later on Tuesday night and pasted a CBI notice in-front of his residence, with the investigating officer Deputy Superintendent of Police R Parthasarathy directing him "to attend before me within two hours of the receipt of this notice for the purpose of the investigation of the case". An email was also sent to Chidambaram, whose phone was switched off.

Chidambaram's lawyer responded to the notice saying his client came to know about this notice through media and that it "fails to mention the provision of law under which he was issued a notice at midnight calling upon him to appear at a short notice of two hours".

The lawyer also said Chidambaram was exercising the rights available to him in law and had approached the Supreme Court. He said the CBI should not take any "coercive" action against Chidambaram till the hearing of his plea in the apex court.

Chidambaram is learnt to have been in consultation with party colleagues and senior lawyers Abhishek Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid among others to chart out his legal strategy to avoid arrest.

The former Finance Minister is facing charges of illegally granting permission to INX Media to receive foreign direct investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore when he was Finance Minister under UPA government. For this, he is accused of asking then INX Media promoters Peter Mukherjea and his ex-wife Indrani to help his son in his business.

His son Karti was arrested last year in the case on charges of influencing Ministry of Finance officials to grant the clearance using his father's clout.

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