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Supreme Court refuses Chidambaram protection from arrest in ED case, says may hamper probe

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Chidambaram

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram suffered a setback today – Thursday, Sep 5 – as the Supreme Court on refused to intervene against a Delhi High Court order to protect former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing money laundering charges against him in the INX Media case.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna said anticipatory bail could not be expected as a matter of right, especially in economic offences. Courts had to provide anticipatory bail sparingly.

Calling economic offences “serious”, court said anticipatory bail has to be an exception in such cases. “The right to anticipatory bail can’t be a subject matter of fundamental right under Article 32,” the SC added.

Grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram at this stage will hamper the investigation, it said. In its decision, the apex court further upheld the investigating agency’s stand that an accused could not insist that he should be first confronted with the evidence placed in court to deny him anticipatory bail.

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The investigating agency has to be given sufficient freedom to conduct a probe into the case, the apex court said. It also rejected Chidambaram’s application for direction to the ED to produce transcripts of his questioning conducted by the agency on three dates.

The court said this may run the risk of exposing the evidence.

The ED had argued that the “art of investigation” did not oblige it to reveal to Chidambaram the entire gamut of evidence collected during investigation in the INX Media case.

After the dismissal of his plea in the ED case, Chidambaram chose to withdraw his appeal challenging his arrest and remand in the INX Media case by CBI as well.

Chidambaram, arrested by CBI on August 21, has been in CBI custody for 15 days and is due to be produced before the trial court for remand hearing. 

He has applied for regular bail in the CBI court. If that fails, chances are he may be sent to Tihar Jail in judicial custody. With this apex court order, the road is also clear for the ED to arrest him.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the ED, had told the Supreme Court that complete transparency towards an accused, especially one so high-profile like the senior Congress leader, would have been an open invitation for him to tamper with evidence of money laundering. A tell-all policy in favour of accused persons destroyed cases.

Mehta said it was “preposterous and absurd” for Chidambaram to claim that only evidence he was privy to should have been shown to the Delhi High Court. Such an approach, if adopted, would affect other sensitive investigations into the Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi, Neerav Modi, Sharda chit fund and terror funding cases.

“It will result in disastrous consequences,” Mehta submitted on August 29, when the case was reserved for orders.

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“The art of investigation is that we reveal only certain things. If we confront him with 15 money trails when he really has 30, he will do his best to wipe out the rest,” Mehta reasoned.

Chidambaram had argued that the Delhi High Court had refused him protection from arrest on August 20 solely on the basis of “material” handed over by the probe agency in a sealed cover “behind his back”.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said the case was a classic example of how “sealed covers seal the fate of a man’s liberty”.

Chidambaram’s lawyers had questioned why he was not confronted with this material when he was questioned thrice by the ED on December 19, 2018, January 7 and January 21, 2019. They sought a transcript of the interrogation sessions of the three days.

The ED has accused the Congress leader of money-laundering in the case, which is also being investigated by the CBI. CBI had lodged an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in FIPB clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds worth Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, ED lodged a money laundering case in 2017.

The Delhi High Court had on August 20, rejected anticipatory bail pleas of Chidambaram in the INX media scam cases lodged by the CBI and ED. The high court held that he was “prima facie the kingpin” in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases and “simply because he is a Member of Parliament would not justify the grant of pre-arrest bail to him”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Mukesh Ambani and family receive threat calls, Mumbai Police detains one

A man has been detained in the Dahisar area in the western suburbs of Mumbai. He has been arrested on the grounds of his alleged connection to the threat calls.

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Industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his family have received three threat calls today on August 15. Reportedly, the calls were made on the number of Reliance Foundation’s Harskisandas Hospital on Monday around 10:30 am.

The complaint was filed at the DB Marg police stations and their team is trying to get more information about the same. However, in the official statement given by the Mumbai Police, “the complaint filed by the Reliance Foundation states that three threat calls were made to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his family and the probe is underway.”

And soon after the complaint was filed, a latest update suggests that a man has been detained in the Dahisar area in the western suburbs of Mumbai. The man has been arrested on the grounds of his alleged connection to the threat calls.

However, this is not for the first time that, Mukesh Ambani and his family have received threat calls. Even last year, a Scorpio car with 20 explosive gelatin sticks along with a threat letter was found outside Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani ‘Antilia’.

Soon after the police were informed, a team of cops including Mumbai’s crime intelligence unit headed by Sachin Vaze, who also took over as the lead investigator of the case, had reached Antilia for investigation.

As per reports, later the case was handed over to NIA after a mysterious death case took over the headlines. The victim was none other than the Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren.

For the unversed, Hiren was the owner of the Scorpio car that was found outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence. Earlier, the late businessman had claimed that the car was stolen a week ago.

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VIRAL: Elephant Jeymalyatha brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu, Peta India demands action

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

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Elephant Jeymalyatha

In an animal-cruelty incident, an elephant named Jeymalyatha was brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu. The video of the incident is viral and has triggered massive outrage on social media.

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

PETA India shared the video on Twitter and demanded stringent action against the mahouts. In the video, Jeymalyatha could be seen crying in pain as the mahouts continuously kept thrashing her with sticks. PETA India has sent an urgent appeal to the chief wildlife wardens of Assam and Tamil Nadu and demanded the enforcement of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, by filling a preliminary offence report under Section 51 against mahouts involved and under Section 48 against the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

The organisation also demanded to seize the abused elephant and rehabilitate her at a sanctuary.

Watch the viral video here:

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Tickets? UP Police constables beat up TT on Gorakhdham Express in Kanpur | WATCH

The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

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UP Police constables beat up TT in Gorakhdham Express

In a shocking incident, the railway head TT was beaten up by two Uttar Pradesh police constables at Kanpur Central Railway Station. According to the reports, the constables were travelling without a ticket on a train from Gorakhpur to Bhatinda, and when the TT asked them to get off the train, they thrashed him fiercely. The incident took place at around 11:30 pm on the Gorakhdham Express on Tuesday.

TT Rambaran, who was on duty, took the train from Lucknow. On Twitter, Aditya Tiwari shared the video of TT narrating the whole incident. He said when he asked for the ticket, the constables said they would get down at Kanpur. After that, when he asked them to step down from the train at the Kanpur station, police constables beat him brutally.

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TT Rambaran also said the constables even tried to throw him off the train, but the passengers who were there on the train helped him save his life. The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

The victim lodged a complaint against the constables in GRP Kanpur. GRP inspector R.B. Dwivedi said they reached the spot as soon as they received information about the incident. He further said the FIR has been registered and the investigation is underway.

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