New Delhi: Former union minister P Chidambaram today moved a Delhi court alleging that the CBI is leaking parts of the charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case to the media “to sensationalise” the issue and “make mockery of judicial process”. Special Judge O P Saini issued notice to the agency and sought its response by October 8.
In the application, moved by advocates P K Dubey and Arshdeep Singh, the Congress leader alleged that the CBI was not interested in a fair trial in the court of law and only wanted trial by the media. “Since this court is yet to take cognisance of the charge sheet, it appears that the CBI has clandestinely provided a copy of the same to the newspaper which is publishing the same in instalments only to sensationalise the issue and prejudice the accused named therein even before cognisance is taken by this court.
“In the view of the above, it is clear that the CBI is not interested in a fair trial in a court of law and only wants a trial by media, which is causing prejudice to the rights of the accused persons, including the appellant herein,” the application said. It added that “CBI is making a mockery of the judicial process resulting in complete travesty of justice.”
Earlier in a series of tweets, the former finance minister alleged that the investigating agency has leaked the charge sheet to the media even before providing copies to the persons named in it. “CBI is not interested in a fair trial in a court of law. It wants a trial by the media. CBI is making a mockery of the judicial process,” he tweeted. Chidambaram claimed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s charge sheet has not been given to the persons named therein. “Yet it is leaked to one servile newspaper which publishes it in instalments!”.
The Congress leader said it was the now-defunct Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that used to decide if a proposal should come within the competence of the finance minister. “FIPB put up the proposal to me and I approved it along with 20 other proposals,” the former finance minister said. He claimed that the CBI “leaked” its charge sheet to one newspaper because “it wants a trial by the media”. “Fortunately, under our legal system, trial can take place only in a court of law,” he said. Chidambaram and his son were named in the charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case on July 19.
The CBI is probing how Chidambaram, who was the Union finance minister in 2006, granted a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to a foreign firm, when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was empowered to do it. The senior Congress leader’s role has come under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.