The Central Bureau of Investigation has issued a Look Out Circular against former Union finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX media case to prevent him from leaving the country as the agency continued its efforts to locate him, officials said.
The probe agency is understood to have alerted all airports and other ports of entry to prevent Chidambaram from leaving, sources said.
However, they did not clarify whether the circular asks the authorities concerned to detain the former finance minister or merely stop him and intimate the CBI.
The officials said the agency is continuing its efforts to locate Chidambaram as he has not presented himself before the CBI team investigating the case.
CBI teams have initiated surveillance and visited a number of places looking for him, sources said.
The agency had been seeking Chidambaram's 'custodial interrogation' in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of foreign investment clearances to INX media when he was the finance minister.
They said Chidambaram was summoned last year for questioning in the case but he remained evasive in his responses.
The Delhi high court on Tuesday refused to grant P Chidambaram any protection from arrest by rejecting his plea seeking anticipatory.
Swinging into action after the high court order, a team of CBI officers landed at his posh Jor Bagh residence here to locate him but he was not present.
The agency officials returned after pasting a notice at his residence on Tuesday night asking him to be present before the investigation officer of the case within two hours. Chidambaram did not appear before them.
Officials have not ruled out the possibility of issuing fresh summons or arrest.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has listed Chidambaram's petition on Friday without giving him any interim relief in the matter.
Chidambaram, through his lawyer, responded to the notice seeking time till 10.30 am Wednesday when his plea seeking protection from arrest was likely to be mentioned in the Supreme Court, they said.
Arshdeep Khurana, lawyer of Chidambaram, stated that his client has come to know 'through reports' that he has been asked to be present before the investigation officer in the INX media case.
"I am instructed to state that your notice fails to mention the provision of law under which my client has been issued a notice at midnight calling upon him to appear at a short notice of 2 (two) hours.
"Furthermore, kindly note that my client is exercising the rights available to him in law and had approached the hon'ble Supreme Court on 20.08.2019 seeking urgent reliefs in respect of the order dated 20.08.2019 dismissing his anticipatory bail application no. 1316/2018 in the captioned FIR," Khurana responded.
It stated, "On moving the Hon'ble Supreme Court at 04:30 pm on 20.08.2019, he has been permitted by the Hon'ble Supreme Court to mention the urgent Special Leave Petition against the above said order before the Hon'ble Supreme Court at 10.30 am on 21.08.2019.
"I therefore request you to not take any coercive action against my client till then and await the above mentioned hearing at 10:30 am on 21.08.2019," it said.