ED issues lookout circular against Chidambaram

Updated: Aug 21, 2019, 12:19 IST | IANS | New Delhi

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice N. V. Ramana refused to grant interim relief from arrest to Chidambaram and referred the matter to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for urgent hearing on his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case

Congress leader P. Chidambaram pays tributes to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary at Veer Bhumi, in New Delhi. Pic/PTI
Congress leader P. Chidambaram pays tributes to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary at Veer Bhumi, in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday issued a circular stating that former Union Minister P. Chidambaram cannot leave the country and in this regard all airports, immigration desks have been put on high alert. The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice N. V. Ramana refused to grant interim relief from arrest to the former Finance Minister and referred the matter to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for urgent hearing on his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case.

Chidambaram's lawyer said the lookout notice stems from political vendetta as the former Minister "is not a flight risk". Already teams of the Central Burea of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate have been making rounds of his Jor Bagh residence here ever since the Delhi High Court denied him anticipatory bail on Tuesday.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has told Supreme Court that this is a case of "monumental money laundering". The high court had termed Chidambaram as the "kingpin" in the INX Media case. Chidambaram has challenged the Delhi High Court order which has rejected his anticipatory bail plea on Tuesday. On January 25, the Delhi High Court reserved order on Chidambaram's bail plea in the case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The investigating agencies had opposed Chidambaram's bail plea, saying that custodial interrogation of the former Finance Minister was necessary as he was evasive and had given false information during his questioning.

The ED and the CBI are probing how his son Karti Chidambaram managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister. Karti Chidambaram was arrested on February 28, 2018, by the CBI for allegedly accepting money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media. He was later granted bail. His chartered accountant S. Bhaskararaman was also arrested and released on bail later.

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