On a day when his successor presented his budget proposals in Parliament, former finance minister P Chidambaram suffered a legal defeat in the Hyderabad High Court. Justice Vilas V Afzalpurkar, before whom Chidambaram appeared and argued the case of Dalmia Cements MD Punith Dalmia challenging the action of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in issuing summons to him, dismissed the plea on Today.
Dalmia was made an accused in the Dalmia Cements episode of YS Jaganmohan Reddy disproportionate assets case and the ED, which is probing the case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, has issued summons to him. When Dalmia failed to honour its summons and notices several times, the ED filed a seperate case against him in the trial court.
Dalmia approached the High Court. Chidambaram argued that his client was already made an accused by the CBI in the same case and if a statement is recorded by ED from him at this stage, the CBI would use it as an evidence against him.
However, additional solicitor general G Rajagopalan, who appeared for ED, argued that the agency was very much within its powers in seeking the presence of Dalmia and production of certain important documents. “Indian Evidence Act allows police to use seized material collected, basing on the confession of the accused, if the same is corroborated with relevant evidence,” he said. The judge dismissed Dalmia’s plea