SC refuses urgent listing of Chidambaram’s petition

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is facing threat of arrest, failed twice Wednesday to get immediate relief from the Supreme Court which refused to grant him urgent hearing on his plea seeking protection from arrest in the INX media scam cases.

Chidambaram, who was home minister and finance minister in the UPA government from 2004-2014, has sought a stay on the Delhi High Court’s Tuesday judgement dismissing his anticipatory bail plea and paving the way for his arrest lodged by CBI and ED.

His petition was first mentioned by senior advocate Kapil Sibal on Wednesday morning before a bench, comprising Justices N V Ramana, M Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi, which sent it for being placed before the CJI for his consideration to accord it urgent hearing.

When the team of lawyers representing Chidambaram did not receive any information on urgent listing, Sibal once again mentioned it before the same bench after it assembled post lunch.

Sibal, flanked by other senior advocates Vivek Tankha and Indira Jaising, told the bench that the investigating agencies have issued a look out notice against Chidambaram as if he is going to “run away”.

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

“Without listing of the petition, we cannot hear the matter,” said the bench.

“Sorry Mr Sibal. We cannot hear the matter,” the bench said when he 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 mentioning the matter for listing as he had not heard anything from the Registry about its listing.

The bench told him that there were some defects in the petition and the Registry had 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 Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for allocating it before an appropriate bench.

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