P Chidambaram Defies CBI Notice, Remains Untraceable; Supreme Court to Hear His Bail Plea Today
P Chidambaram (Photo Credits: IANS)

New Delhi, August 21: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram refused to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which summoned him in connection with the INX Media case late on Tuesday. P Chidambaram has been untraceable since the Delhi High Court refused to grant him any protection from arrest by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Supreme Court will hear Chidambaram's plea against the high court order rejecting his anticipatory bail plea today.

Hours after the Delhi High Court cancelled Chidambaram's plea for protection from arrest, a six-member team of CBI and ED officials arrived at his Jor Bagh residence one after the other, but could not find him there. The CBI team reached Chidambaram's residence around 6:30 pm and left 10 minutes later. The ED team then arrived at the senior Congress leader's residence at around 7:30 pm.

Both teams left the premises after confirming that Chidambaram was not present at the address. When Chidambaram remained untraceable for hours, a CBI team returned to his residence and pasted a notice on the gate asking the senior Congress leader to appear before R Parthasarthy, CBI Deputy SP, who is probing the INX Media case, to record his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC.

The notice pasted at Chidambaram house read, "Whereas it appears that you are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the cases noted below which I am now investigating under chapter XII of the CrPc, you are hereby directed to attend before me within two hours of the receipt for the purpose of the investigation of the case."

Responding to the CBI notice, Chidambaram's lawyer Arshdeep Singh Khurana asked the investigative agency to mention under which law his client was summoned. "I am instructed to state that your notice fails to mention the provision of law under which my client has been issued a notice to appear within two hours," Khurana wrote back.

As the sword of arrest was hanging over him following the Delhi High Court's order, Chidambaram moved the Supreme Court against cancellation of his anticipatory bail plea. The former union minister also denied all allegations levelled against him.

The CBI is probing Chidambaram in the INX Media case, registered on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the media group for receiving Rs 305 crore overseas funds in 2007 during his tenure as the Finance Minister. The ED is probing a money laundering case, it registered in 2018.