Delhi HC allows Karti to withdraw plea in money-laundering case

On March 9, 2018, the high court had granted interim protection from arrest to Karti Chidambaram in the case
Karti Chidambaram
Karti Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed Congress MP Karti Chidambaram to withdraw his application seeking interim protection from coercive steps by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the INX Media money-laundering case.

Advocate Arshdeep Singh, representing Karti Chidambaram, submitted that the ED has filed its complaint in the matter before the trial court, where his plea for regular bail is now being contested by the investigating agency on the ground of pendency of the application concerning protection from coercive steps before this court.

In his plea, Karti Chidambaram -- son of former Union minister P Chidambaram -- said the withdrawal of the application was sought to enable him to pursue his regular bail application pending before the trial court.

"The petitioner merely seeks leave to withdraw the earlier application, which is pending adjudication before this court. The petitioner is axiomatically the dominus litus. The limited prayer made on his behalf (for withdrawal of the application) is granted. Petitioner is permitted to withdraw the earlier application," ordered a bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Amit Sharma.

The application by Karti Chidambaram, filed in 2018, formed part of his petition challenging certain provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 and the ED case against him. The application prayed for an interim order that no coercive steps may be taken by the ED pending the petition.

On March 9, 2018, the high court had granted interim protection from arrest to Karti Chidambaram in the case.

The ED case arises from a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on May 15, 2017, which alleged irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of ₹ 305 crore in 2007 during P Chidambaram's tenure as Finance Minister. Based on this, a money-laundering case was lodged by the ED.

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