Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Lawyers dismiss Chidambaram’s contention, say accused not required to be named in FIR

New Delhi, August 22: Dismissing P Chidambaram’s contention that since he was not named in the FIR filed by the CBI in the INX Media case he could not be arrested, legal experts said an FIR is registered in respect of commission of an offence and offenders are identified during the investigation.
The former Union finance minister was arrested by the CBI on Wednesday night from his residence, but not before he dramatically appeared at the Congress headquarters that evening to declare his innocence and put up a strong defence of himself and family members, saying none of them has been directly accused of any offence by the probe agencies in the FIR or the charge sheet.
Chidambaram also said the FIR recorded by the CBI does not impute him of any wrongdoing.
However, lawyers made it clear that according to law, the name of an accused is not required to be necessarily mentioned in the FIR which is registered in respect of commission of an offence and offenders are found during the investigation.
Even the Delhi High Court, while dismissing Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea, said it finds that not naming Chidambaram in the FIR is inconsequential, as he has been projected to be the main accused on whose diktats the offence of this magnitude could be committed.
Senior advocate Ajit K Sinha said FIR is only to set things into motion, thereafter the investigation starts and the name of accused crops up.
If credible evidence comes up during investigation, the name of an accused can be included and if charge sheet has already been filed in the court, it can be done by filing of a supplementary charge sheet, he said.
Several other prominent lawyers, who commented on the question in hand, said the FIR can be registered without naming anyone.
One advocate said it does not matter whether a person is named in the FIR or not as the role of offenders crop up during the investigation and thereafter charge sheet is filed against them.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018. (PTI)