Justice Suresh Kumar Kait of the Delhi High Court today November 19, 2019 issued further clarification with respect to the order passed in the bail plea filed by P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case.
The order was passed by the Court while disposing of a plea by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking rectification of the "inadvertent factual errors" in the P Chidambaram bail order passed last week.
It was ED's concern that certain contentious recordings in the order were being attributed to the submissions made by it before the Court.
While deciding the issue of bail, the Court had quoted from the High Court's order in Rohit Tandon v. Enforcement Directorate.
However, in subsequent paragraphs no. 35 & 36, it accidentally went on to reproduce the facts of the Rohit Tandon case as recorded in paragraph 16 & 18 of the order passed in the case in May 2017.
Further, in subsequent paragraphs ie. 39 and 40, the High Court judgment stated the conclusion with respect to the culpability of Rohit Tandon verbatim, as recorded by the Supreme Court in the appeal against the High Court order in the Rohit Tandon case.
While a clarification that paragraph 35 recorded the facts of the Rohit Tandon Case was issued yesterday, November 18, 2019, the Court today November 19, 2019 clarified the issue with respect to the remaining three paragraphs. The Court stated that paragraph 39 merely discussed the law as recorded in the Rohit Tandon case. It further remarked that paragraph 40 nowhere stated that the allegations recorded by it were against P Chidambaram but merely pertained to the Rohit Tandon case.
The Court thus concluded that there was no error on the face of the judgement and stated,
"Nevertheless, for the sake of clarity, it is once again reiterated that aforementioned paragraphs..pertain to the case of Rohit Tandon and are not the base rejecting the bail application of the non-applicant."
The application was vehemently opposed by Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan and Advocate Arshdeep Singh who appeared for P Chidambaram on the ground that it would amount to bringing a substantive change in the order.
Krishnan argued that the clarifications being sought by the ED were not clerical mistakes, and thus the Court had no power to "alter" its order in view of the bar under Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Krishnan further asserted that the ED had never put forth any submissions with respect to CCTV footage etc.
Justice Kait not only rejected the contentions, but also took the opportunity to express his views on news reports on the controversy,
"This is motivated news...You do it because you did not get the order that you want...I can say it with responsibility that I have rightly dismissed the bail..."
Krishnan took strong objection to the remark, arguing that "no motive should be attributed" to them.
In yesterday's order, Justice Kait clarified that there was no "cut and paste" in the order pronounced in the Chidambaram bail plea. He had also directed the Chief Editors of The Hindu and the Indian Express to publish clarification to that effect.
Tags : #P Chidambaram ; #Bail Order ; #Delhi High Court