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Chidambaram's filing plea directly in SC will set bad precedent: CBI

New Delhi

03-September-2019

The CBI on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court not to entertain former Finance Minister P Chidambaram's petition against remand orders directly, as it would set a bad precedent.

The CBI, in an affidavit filed in the apex court, said: "Entertaining of a petition under Article 136 of the Constitution directly against an order of remand passed by the competent court (in this trial court) in exercise of discretionary jurisdiction under Section 167 of the (Criminal Procedure) Code would set a bad precedent."

A bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi is hearing Chidambaram's petition against the arrest warrants and the custodial remand ordered by the trial court. 

The investigation agency asked the apex court if it would henceforth allow all the litigants to challenge their remand orders directly in the Supreme Court, instead of moving the designated High Court and the trial court conducting the regular hearing. 

In fact, Justice Banumathi had told Chidambaram's lawyer on Monday that it not appropriate to skip the jurisdiction of the High Court and the trial court concerned.

"There are no extraordinary or grave circumstances which justifies the petitioner to bypass the statutory remedies which are restored to all citizens challenging the order of remand," the agency said in its affidavit. 

The CBI also said that even high courts usually do not interfere when the special designated court, after an elaborate and length hearing, pass a detailed order exercising its judicial discretion.

Chidambaram's petition is bereft of merit and hence warrants no intervention by the apex court, and the court should dismiss it, the CBI added.

Earlier, during the day, the Supreme Court said that Chidambaram will remain in the CBI custody till September 5 despite the investigating agency informing the court that it does not want to question him further. 

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram, assured the court that they will not press for his interim bail in the trial court till Thursday.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that the agency does not want further custodial interrogation of Chidambaram and the judiciary must allow the law to take its own course. The submission indicated that Chidambaram should be sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody. 

The former minister on Monday had insisted that the court not send him to judicial custody. Mehta requested the top court not to regulate proceedings pending before the trial court. However, the top court ordered to maintain status quo in the INX media case. IANS