The Delhi High Court Monday denied bail to former Union minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case. Chidambaram, who was arrested on August 21 by CBI sleuths from his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi, is now in judicial custody in Tihar jail till October 3.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed that despite the fact that he being the former Union finance minister, home minister and presently a Member of Parliament with deep roots in society and long-standing in the Bar, the “possibility” of him influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.
“I am not inclined to grant bail,” the court said.
The judge also observed that the investigation is at an advanced stage.
The CBI had urged the High Court to not grant bail to Chidambaram, saying “the lawmakers cannot become lawbreakers and enjoy impunity”.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram, opposed the CBI’s contention saying “offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy alleged against Chidambaram are not grave in nature and he should be released on bail”.
The senior counsels submitted that the offences for which Chidambaram has been booked carry only a punishment of up to 7-year imprisonment.
As per the CBI, the investigation conducted so far has revealed that Chidambaram, while working as finance minister, demanded illegal gratification against which payments were made in India as well as overseas to him and his son Karti Chidambaram.
The agency has claimed that the payments were made by other co-accused – Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea – from various bank accounts maintained in the country as well as abroad in connection with FIPB approval. They are alos accused of amicably resolving/settling down issues relating to violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by their company M/s INX Media Pvt Ltd and INX News Pvt Ltd.
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