Congress MP P Chidambaram's lawyer has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation under what law his client has been told to appear within two hours in an alleged corruption case. The CBI on Tuesday posted a notice outside Mr Chidambaram's house, ordering him to appear before it "within two hours".
The agency was looking for the former Union Minister after his anticipatory bail request in the INX Media case was rejected by the Delhi High Court.
"I am instructed to state that your notice fails to mention the provision of law under which my client has been issued a notice to appear within two hours," said Arshdeep Singh Khurana, Mr Chidambaram's lawyer, according to news agency ANI.
"He (Mr Chidambaram) has been permitted by the Supreme Court to mention the urgent special leave petition against the order before the court at 10:30 am today. I, therefore, request you not to take any coercive action against my client till then and await the hearing at 10:30 am," the lawyer said in a letter to the CBI, ANI reported.
However, Mr Chidambaram was granted no immediate relief by the Supreme Court this morning after he asked for an urgent hearing on his petition against the rejection of anticipatory bail in the INX Media case. "It is a monumental magnitude of money laundering case," the CBI told the top court, which forwarded his petition to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
The CBI and Enforcement Directorate teams visited Mr Chidambaram's house in Delhi, but the leader didn't show up. Another team visited the house later to paste the notice.
"Whereas it appears that you are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case noted below, which I am now investigating under Chapter 12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, you are hereby directed to attend before me within two hours of the receipt of this notice for the purpose of investigation of the case," the notice read.
Investigators say Mr Chidambaram facilitated a mammoth foreign funding for the television company in 2007, for which his son Karti Chidambaram received kickbacks.
Delhi High Court's Justice Sunil Gaur on Tuesday said "prima facie" Mr Chidambaram was the key conspirator in the case as he rejected his request for anticipatory bail.
"Facts of the case prima facie reveal that the petitioner is the kingpin, that is, the key conspirator in this case," Justice Gaur said.
Mr Chidambaram's legal team is expected to challenge the High Court's order in the Supreme Court today.
The Congress called the action against Mr Chidambaram "vendetta".
"Unrelenting, insidious and vindictive persecution of P Chidambaram and his family is an insult to rule of law as it stands constituted in a Democracy. Those who sow the wind eventually reap the whirlwind. Hubris of ignorance and arrogance is a deadly cocktail. Vendetta never pays," Congress leader Manish Tewari tweeted.