CBI issues Look Out Circular against P Chidambaram

RSTV Bureau
File photo of former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in New Delhi.  PTI

File photo of former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in New Delhi.
PTI

The CBI has issued a Look Out Circular against former finance minister P Chidambaram to prevent him from leaving the country, officials said on Wednesday.

The agency has alerted all the airports to prevent Chidambaram from boarding a flight, they said, adding the circular was issued recently.

The ED has also issued a fresh lookout circular against him in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.

Earlier today, Supreme Court refused urgent listing of Congress leader P Chidambaram’s petition seeking protection from arrest in the INX Media scam cases.

The top court said the defects in the petition were removed just now and it “cannot be listed for hearing today itself”.

“Without listing of the petition, we cannot hear the matter,” said a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, M Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi.

“Sorry, Mr Sibal. We cannot hear the matter,” the bench said when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, repeatedly asked for hearing the matter on Wednesday itself.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea of Chidambaram for hearing the matter on oral mentioning saying that the papers are not with him.

Just as the bench assembled in the post-lunch session, Sibal said he was once again mentioned the matter for listing as he had not heard anything from the Registry about its listing.

Sibal told the top court that the investigative agencies have now issued a lookout notice against Chidambaram as if he is going to “run away”.

The bench told him that there were some defects in the petition and the Registry has informed about it.

When Sibal said the defects have been cured, the bench called Registrar (judicial) Surya Pratap Singh and enquired about the defects.

The Registrar said the defects have been cured “just now”, and the petition will be placed before the CJI for allocating it before an appropriate bench.

At this, Sibal said that the matter cannot be listed today as the CJI is sitting in the Constitution bench and he will not rise before 4 pm.

While the senior advocate was repeatedly insisting the matter be to hear, the bench told him, “we have already directed the matter to be placed before CJI”.

“Generally, the matters for listing are placed before CJI in the evening but in the morning we immediately refer it to CJI,” the bench said.

“It is not out job but the Registry has to take the step,” the bench further said.

When Sibal reminded the bench that in the past on the basis of oral mentioning protection from arrest has been granted to people, the bench said, “we directed the Registry and it found that there were defects in the petition”.

At the end of the hearing, Sibal said that Chidambaram was ready to give an undertaking that he will not run away but the bench did not consider the submission and concluded the brief hearing.

(With inputs from agency)