Court reserves order on Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail till Sep 5

Earlier, the court had said that it was not happy with the probe agencies for seeking repeated adjournments and told them if they do not argue the matter, it would pass the order on September 3

Former Union minister P. Chidambaram (file photo).
Former Union minister P. Chidambaram (file photo).


A Delhi court on Monday reserved for September 5 its order on the anticipatory bail pleas of former finance minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis cases lodged by the CBI and the ED.

Special Judge O.P. Saini listed the matter for orders after hearing the submissions of the probe agencies and the Chidambarams.

The CBI and the ED sought in court the custodial interrogation of the Chidambarams in cases arising out of the Aircel-Maxis scam saying they have been non-cooperative in the investigation.

Chidambaram, during the UPA regime, granted approval to the Aircel-Maxis deal which benefitted certain persons and received kickbacks, the probe agencies alleged.

Opposing the Congress leader and his son Karti's protection from arrest, the agencies said the two will hamper the probe. They also opposed the anticipatory bail applications filed by the father-son duo.

The probe agencies told the court that Chidambaram, 73, and his son have committed serious economic offences and there was a larger conspiracy against the public and national interest.

The Chidambarams need to be dealt with 'iron hand', the CBI said.

The ED said the Chidambarams are accused of money laundering, creating shell companies and committing other offences.

Earlier, the court had said that it was not happy with the probe agencies for seeking repeated adjournments and had given the ultimatum that if they would not argue the matter, it would pass the order on September 3.

The court said they have been seeking adjournments in the cases for over a year and it has become "embarrassing" to continue with the matter in this manner.

It had given ultimatum to the probe agencies that onus is on them to make arguments against the anticipatory bail pleas of the Chidambarams and they have to make their stand clear as soon as possible as the order would be pronounced on September 3.

The court on August 23 had extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram and Karti till September 3.

The cases relate to alleged irregularities in grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal when P Chidambaram was finance minister.

The father-son duo were given interim protection from arrest by the court after they had filed anticipatory bail applications in the case.

Their protection from arrest has been extended from time to time. The previous extension was ending on August 23.

Chidambaram and Karti were named in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in the case on July 19 last year.

The ED is also probing a separate money laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis matter, in which the Chidambarams have been questioned by the agency and their anticipatory bail is pending.

Chidambaram has spent 11 days in CBI custody since his arrest on August 21. His lawyers feared that rejection of his bail plea by the trial court left him vulnerable to being sent off to Tihar Jail.

Chidambaram lawyers made fervent pleas in the Supreme Court on Monday urging it not pass an adverse order. The top court was hearing a petition filed by Chidambaram against his CBI custody.

The bench asked him to apply for bail before the trial court. Chidambaram's counsel senior advocate Kapil Sibal insisted that the trial court would definitely reject his plea for any relief and asked the court to place Chidambaram under house arrest. The prosecution objected to the request.

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