New Delhi [India], July 12 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on the anticipatory bail plea of Congress MP Karti Chidambaram for August 18 as the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju was not available for argument on behalf of Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Karti had moved a petition seeking anticipatory bail in a money laundering case connected with the Chinese Visa case.
Justice Poonam A. Bamba adjourned the hearing after recording the submissions of Advocate Zuhaib Hossain who appeared for ED.
He submitted that ASG is not available today for argument as he is busy with another matter in the Supreme Court. He requested for a date for hearing on 26 July.
The bench allowed the request. The court listed the matter on August 18 for further hearing. The counsel for ED submitted that the status report on the petition has been filed and it is on record. The bench, however, said that it is not on record, and asked for it to be brought on record.
This matter was adjourned on June 24 as no time was left for the hearing. ASG Raju had assured orally that no coercive action would be taken against the petitioner. During the hearing counsel for ED orally assured no coercive action would be taken against the petitioner.
The vacation bench of the High Court on June 8 had reserved the order on anticipatory bail plea. However, an application was moved on June 10 seeking permission to lead some additional arguments by the counsel of the petitioner. It was allowed and the matter was listed for further hearing.
The application was moved after an order passed by Special CBI Judge M K Nagpal granting bail to S. Bhaskararaman in the Chinese Visa case registered by the CBI. It was stated that there are some material developments and they wish to file additional documents. The bench had said it requires further hearing.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, counsel for the petitioner, had argued that there is no material against the accused. No money laundering case is made out because there are no allegations that any money was given to Karti Chidambaram. If there is no money, it cannot be laundered, he argued. Even so, they registered the ECIR. The accused has joined the investigation and cooperating in the same.
Senior Advocate Sibal also argued that the alleged transaction is from 2011 and they registered the case in 2022.
There is apprehension of arrest as they registered the ECIR within ten days of registration of FIR by CBI. I am named in that ECIR, they can arrest me anytime without even calling me or giving me notice, it was argued. In the CBI case, I have been given the protection of 72 hours' notice before arrest so that I can approach the court, Sibal argued.
Earlier, he had argued that the value of the alleged transaction is of Rs. 50 Lakh and it is less than one crore. In view of this fact, he should be granted bail.
On the other hand, ASG S V Raju submitted that the bail application is premature as there is no material we have in this case. If no case is made out against them, then why they do have apprehension, he argued. He further said that this application is premature because no summon was issued and only an ECIR had been registered. Therefore, the apprehension of arrest is not genuine, he added.
CBI judge M K Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Court on June 3, 2022 had dismissed all three applications moved by Karti Chidambaram, S. Bhaskararaman and Vikas Makharia. (ANI)