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No immediate relief for P Chidambaram, his plea against arrest referred to Chief Justice of India

File photo: P Chidambaram. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 21, 2019, 10.50 AM (IST)

There was no relief for former finance minister P Chidambaram, as the Supreme Court bench hearing his plea against arrest referred the matter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.

The hearing in the case has been scheduled for today afternoon.

The Congress leader had moved the top court on Tuesday after a six-member team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials arrived at his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi to arrest him.

The teams of the investigating agencies reached his residence after the Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to grant him protection from arrest in the INX Media case, but couldn't find him there and left after a while.

The CBI is investigating Chidambaram in the INX Media case, which it had registered on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as finance minister.

The investigating agency on Wednesday issued a lookout notice against Chidambaram since he has been missing since Tuesday.

Watch: Delhi High Court denies anticipatory bail to Chidambaram

The ED is probing the money laundering case which it lodged in 2018.

The Delhi High Court said facts prima facie reveal that Chidambaram is the kingpin, the key conspirator, in the case. The high court observed that the magnitude and enormity of material brought forth by investigating agencies clearly does not entitle him any pre-arrest bail.

The Congress has described the government`s action against its leader as political vendetta and accused it of maintaining double standard over the issue of corruption.

(With inputs from agencies)