Millennium Post

PC moves application to surrender to ED

PC moves application to surrender to ED

New Delhi: As a Delhi court on Thursday sent former Finance Minister P Chidambaram to judicial custody in Tihar Jail here, his lawyers moved an application surrender to the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the INX Media money-laundering case.

Taking note of the application, Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar has issued a notice to the ED, asking the central agency to file a reply before the court on Thursday (September 12).

The application was moved by Chidambaram's lawyers as soon as the court pronounced its order on his judicial custody.

Even during the remand proceeding, which primarily dealt with CBI's application to send Chidambaram to judicial custody, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, arguing for the Congress veteran said that his client was willing to surrender to the ED.

Sibal made this point while opposing Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta's argument for Chidambaram's judicial custody. Sibal questioned as to why judicial custody was projected as the only logical consequence after the end of police custody.

The senior advocate said, "Why judicial custody? Either the ED takes me (Chidambaram) into custody or I should be released."

The point arose specifically when the deliberations were surrounding as to whether an accused should be sent to judicial custody simply because their legal police custody is over.

While Mehta said that given the nature of the offence and the character of the accused, judicial custody is the only legal consequence after the end of CBI custody; Sibal argued that adequate justification must be provided to the court for it to consider the plea.

Several ED officials were also present in court during the proceedings, with some of them saying that they were there just to observe what was happening.

The application to surrender to the ED came after earlier in the day, the Supreme Court of India had rejected Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea in ED's money-laundering probe related to the INX Media case, thus removing his arrest-shield.

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