CBI, ED hunt for P Chidambaram

Since the Delhi High Court’s rejection of the anticipatory bail plea of P. Chidambaram for alleged money laundering and corruption related to INX Media, the CBI and the ED are searching for the former Home and Finance Minister, trailing his last mobile phone location and using CCTV footage.

The High Court passed the order on Tuesday, prompting Chidambaram, a Rajya Sabha member, to move the Supreme Court which will now hear the matter on Friday. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have more than once visited the Congress leader’s Jor Bagh house in south Delhi but have not been able to trace him.

The agencies have been tracking his mobile phone locations and scrutiny of footage from CCTV cameras installed on the way which he took after leaving the Supreme Court.

The last location of Chidambaram’s mobile phone traced by the agencies was Lodi Estate, near his residence. The gadget was then switched off and is still not reachable, said a source requesting anonymity.

The source, privy to the INX Media case investigation, said the CBI and the ED had also scrutinized all CCTV cameras installed on the way from the Supreme Court to Lodhi Road and the possible way leading to the once powerful politician’s residence.

A team of investigating agencies are still camping in the vicinity of Chidambaram’s residence. But there’s no trace of him. The agencies have questioned Chidambaram’s driver and clerk whom he dropped midway and left for an unknown location, said the source.

CBI and ED teams visited all known locations associated with Chidambaram, his relatives and close friends in political and social circles. “Over a dozen locations in Delhi-NCR have been searched.”

Meanwhile, Chidambaram failed twice today to get immediate relief from the Supreme Court which refused to grant him urgent hearing on his plea seeking protection from arrest in the INX media scam cases.

It was later learnt that the apex court was likely to hear his plea for protection against arrest on Friday.

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