Justice Sunil Gaur, who rejected the anticipatory bail plea of former finance minister P. Chidambaram leading to his arrest by the CBI, has been appointed as the chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (ATPMLA).
The Delhi High Court judge, who replaces Justice Manmohan Singh as the chairperson, had kept his verdict on Chidambaram's plea reserved for seven months and pronounced the judgment just 72 hours before he retired.
In his judgment on August 20, Justice Gaur said facts reveal that Chidambaram is the "kingpin", the key conspirator in the INX Media case. The verdict said that the court is of prima facie opinion that custodial interrogation of Chidambaram is required for an effective investigation in the case.
The immediate appointment of judges to tribunals and commissions has come under severe criticism over the past several years. The Centre had, in February 2019, clarified there would be no cooling off period for the retired Supreme Court and High Court judges before they are appointed to any tribunal or commission.