The CBI on Friday moved the Supreme Court, seeking the review of its judgment granting bail to former Union minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case.
The Delhi High Court had earlier denied Chidambaram bail on the ground that he was likely to influence witnesses, “not based on any surmise and or speculation…but…on the basis of material available on record. The senior Congress leader had appealed in the Supreme Court, which in an October 23 judgment said that the HC’s conclusion “is not substantiated by any materials” and was only a “generalised apprehension and appears to be purely speculative”.
The apex court also said that there is no material to show that Chidambaram or his men had been approaching witnesses to influence them not to depose against him or his son Karti Chidambaram.
It added that there nothing about attempts to influence witnesses in the remand applications seeking extension of his custody.
On Friday, the CBI’s review petition said that the material produced before the HC had also been produced before the Supreme Court, but the apex court had not gone into it and yet drawn an “adverse inference”. It added that the senior Congress leader is still “trying to influence witnesses…”
The CBI also said it “has cogent and credible evidence in form of witness statement under Section 161 and 164 of CrPC which clearly records that the SLP (Special Leave Petition) petitioner has attempted earlier and is trying to influence the said witnesses and pressurize them not deposing them against” Chidambaram or his son.
“These statements were seen by the High Court, based upon which specific findings are also recorded by the High Court in the impugned judgment,” the plea said.
The agency submitted that “in absence of this Hon’ble court perusing the statements available with the investigating agency, the said findings could not have been rendered by this Hon’ble court to hold that the said allegation is a mere averment without any basis”.
The “said allegation”, it added, was not its mere averment but was based on “cogent material available with it and as such could not have been rebutted without even perusing the material available on record”.
On why it had not mentioned the accused trying to influence witnesses in the remand applications, the agency said the purpose of the remand application was only to seek police custody, and hence there was in law no need for the agency to plead the point about influencing witnesses in it.
The review petition added that the Supreme Court could not have reversed the HC’s findings without having a look at the impugned statements.
The HC, it added, had with the assistance of the investigating officer perused the statements of the witnesses and thereafter come to the finding that two witnesses were approached by Chidamabaram or his men to not depose against him or his son.