In a setback for former finance minister P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court has said it cannot convert their petition against rejection of anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court into a petition for regular bail and refused to “entertain” the plea against the CBI.
The top court said Chidambaram may move regular bail before the concerned court, that is the special CBI court that sent him to CBI custody for four days on Thursday.
The hearing started after a delay as Chidambaram’s plea challenging the trial court’s order remanding him to CBI custody in the INX media case was not listed for hearing today despite the apex court’s direction on August 23, after which the matter was referred to CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
On Friday, the apex court had granted protection from arrest till Monday to Chidambaram in the money-laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate. The court has sought replies from ED on Chidambaram’s plea and directed that all the three matters should be listed on Monday.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, had said that lot of “hue and cry” and “political vendetta” is alleged by the petitioner (Chidambaram) and his party colleagues but “I am saying with a great sense of responsibility that this is a case of money laundering of a monumental magnitude”.
Chidambaram was arrested on August 21 night from his Jor Bagh residence by the CBI in the corruption case and was produced before a trial court on August 22, which remanded him to four-day CBI custody till August 26.