Justice Indermeet Kaur of the Delhi High Court has recused herself from hearing the bail plea of Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media bribery case.
Justice Kaur did not explain any reasons for her recusal and has transferred the matter to Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal to assign the case to another bench. The hearing will take place on Tuesday (today) itself.
Karti, the son of former finance and home minister, P Chidambaram, had moved the High Court seeking bail, hours after a Delhi court had sent him to judicial custody till 24 March. The special court had also rejected his plea for a separate cell in Tihar jail in view of a threat perception against him, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, another row has erupted over Justice Mittal being conferred the with the Nari Shakti Puraskar by the Centre’s Narendra Modi government. Mittal is believed to be the first person from the judiciary to be conferred with this award.
Lawyer Indira Jaising wrote, “Making a show of supporting women, on the one hand Justice Gita Mittal being given awards , on the other hand Madhavi Diwan not appointed ASG and Indu Malhotra not appointed to Supreme Court , today would have been the best day to make those appointments.”
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan too was not pleased with the decision to confer a government award to a sitting judge of the high court. He wrote, “Totally inappropriate for the govt to confer awards on sitting judges. Such practice will affect the Independence of the judiciary. Hope & expect the Acting Chief Justice to decline this.”
The CBI had arrested Karti last month immediately after he landed at Chennai airport from London.