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Delhi HC Allows ED's Application Seeking Factual Corrections in Chidambaram's Bail Order; Issues Clarifications

Karan Tripathi
19 Nov 2019 6:18 AM GMT
Delhi HC Allows ED
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed the application filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) to correct "inadvertent factual errors" and "accidental slips" in the order denying bail to P Chidambaram in the INX Media case and issued clarifications.

Appearing on behalf of ED, Advocate Amit Mahajan requested that the Court to clarify that observations made in paragraphs 35, 36, 39 and 40 were not taken from the submissions made by the agency. 

Mr Mahajan also argued that these clerical errors which can be rectified by the court, in compliance with section 362 of Criminal Procedure Code. As per the agency, these are factual errors which were made inadvertently by the court. 

One of the clarifications required was regarding the use of phrase 'CCTV footage' instead of 'CDs' in paragraph 36 of the judgment. 

Appearing for former Union Finance Minister Chidambaram, Senior Counsel Dayan Krishnan opposed the maintainability of the said application by submitting the following:

  • The application cannot be entertained as it seeks substantial changes in the order passed by this court which is not permissible under section 362 of CrPC.
  • Under section 362, only clerical errors apparent on the record can be rectified by the High Court, which has passed a judgment in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction
  •  A clerical error is an accidental or arithmetic error.
  •  Whatever that needed to be rectified, was already done by the Court in the order passed under a suo-motu cognisance taken up on Monday

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait noted that with reference to paragraph 35, clarification was already issued by the court on Monday and no further clarification is required. 

He also clarified that the insertion of phrase 'CCTV footage' in the paragraph was incorrect as the same was not averred by ED. Therefore, the said paragraph should be read without the phrase 'CCTV footage'. 

In addition to this, the court highlighted that observations made in paragraph 39 refer to the position of law, and hence, need not be clarified or rectified by the court. 

Further, Justice Kait noted that regarding paragraph 40, the observations made in the Rohit Tandon case were reproduced. Nowhere in the said paragraph it is mentioned that the said facts refer to the case of Chidambaram. Therefore, the court opined that while no clarification or correction is required, the said paragraph should be read with reference to facts in the Rohit Tandon case. 

The court perused the case cited by Dayan Krishnan in support of his case in order to hold that the prayer in the said case is different from the prayer made by ED in the present application. The said case cited by Krishnan was regarding quashing of an order, while the present application was moved for seeking corrections in the order. 

On Monday, Justice Kait had passed an order issuing a clarification regarding paragraph 35 of the order rejecting bail to Chidambaram by saying that the same shall be seen as a reference to facts recorded in the Rohit Tandon case and not as an observation made in the present case. 

The court had passed an order by taken suo motu cognizance of the reports published in newspapers such as The Hindu and The Indian Express, wherein it was mentioned that the bail order of Chidambaram had certain paragraphs which were copied and pasted from the judgment in Rohit Tandon case. 

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