Plot thickens as ED denies any 'note' on Chidambaram case
By Sumit Saxena
New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) The mystery over the Enforcement Directorate (ED) "note", which according to former Union Minister P. Chidambaram's lawyers was copied "word-by-word" in the Delhi High Court order denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media case, intensified on Monday with the probe agency denying in the Supreme Court that it had filed any such document.
Arguing for interim protection for Chidambaram from arrest in the ED case in connection with INX Media, his lawyer and senior advocate Kapil Sibal told a bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi that the ED did not even choose to submit a formal affidavit, but instead filed a secret note against his client in the Delhi High Court.
He was responding to Justice Banumathi's inquiry as to how was the case decided by the high court, what was the nature of the documents filed and the arguments in connection with them.
Continuing his arguments, Sibal told the court that whatever has been brought on record in the high court order was never part of any proceedings.
"How did he (the high court judge) get all this? Nothing was filed in the court proceedings, but the judge had surprisingly brought the information on record... where is the case diary," he contended, opposing the conduct of ED in depriving his client the liberty to defend himself in the court.
Sibal also claimed that the ED note was copied verbatim by the Delhi High Court, and in fact, became the finding of the court.
In response, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing both ED and CBI, said that he was not aware from where Chidambaram's lawyers got hold of the note, as it was not part of the investigating agency records.
Sibal, during the arguments, read out excerpts from the alleged ED note, emphasising each and every word, which was copied into the Delhi High Court order.
As Mehta said that this was not fair, Sibal demanded that the ED should deny that the note was its, and come on record that it never submitted such a note in the high court.
"By saying that you did not give it to us is not enough for the matter at hand," he argued.
Mehta, in his reply, said that he had no idea as to how the lawyers got this note, as it was not been handed over by the ED.
At the end of the hearing, the top court extended the interim protection of Chidambaram from arrest by the ED till Tuesday, when it will continue hearing the arguments.
(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at [email protected])