Enforcement Directorate has said that former Finance Minister P Chidambaram is “playing the victim card” to prevent the ED from arresting him in the money laundering case related to INX Media. The ED, in a submission before the Supreme Court, said there is no witch-hunt and alleged that money laundering in this matter is going on even now.
The agency also said it has received “specific inputs and specific details” from foreign countries and banks about properties abroad, house number, companies and persons who own them. It said this a day after Chidambaram asked the ED to prove he had bank accounts and assets abroad as claimed by the agency.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram in the ED case till today. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, said they cannot share “sensitive material” collected during the probe with Chidambaram at this stage.
The apex court is hearing a plea filed by Chidambaram who has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED respectively.
The CBI had lodged an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of 305 crore rupees in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as Finance Minister. Thereafter, ED lodged a money laundering case.