The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted time to former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram to respond to the Enforcement Directorate's plea challenging their anticipatory bail in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Justice Anu Malhotra allowed the oral prayer of Chidambarams' lawyer seeking more time to file the reply to Enforcement Directorate's plea.
The court directed the Chidambarams, represented through senior advocate Dayan Krishnan and lawyer Arshdeep Singh, to file their reply within three weeks and asked the ED to place on record its rejoinder, if any, two weeks thereafter.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on May 12.
Central government lawyer Amit Mahajan and advocate Mallika Hiremath, representing the ED, submitted that the court had issued notice to Mr Chidambaram and his son on October 11 last year to file the response to the agency's plea, however, they have not yet done so.
The ED had earlier contended that the special judge pronounced its order granting anticipatory bail to the Chidambarams on September 5, 2019 without considering the Supreme Court's order which had come on the same day in the INX Media case.
The probe agency had said the trial court failed to appreciate that custodial interrogation of the accused was required, and its finding the offence not grave enough was completely perverse and untenable in law.
It had contended that in the Aircel-Maxis case, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) the approval sought was for Rs 3,500-crore which was beyond the jurisdiction of the finance minister, still it was approved by Chidambaram.
It had said the father-son duo should not be granted pre-arrest bail as some witnesses are common in the Aircel-Maxis and the INX Media cases and the investigation could be hampered.
The trial court had also granted anticipatory bail to them in the Aircel Maxis case filed by the CBI.
The ED, in its plea, has contended that the pre-arrest bail in a case of an economic offence was unwarranted and urged the high court to set aside the trial court's order granting relief to the Chidambarams.