In a setback to former Union minister P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court Thursday refused to grant pre-arrest bail to him in connection with the INX Media case. Chidamabaram has already spent 15 days in CBI custody after his dramatic arrest on August 22. His custody comes to an end today.
The top court dismissed Chidambaram’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict denying him anticipatory bail in the case, saying economic offences have to be dealt with differently as it affects the economy of the country.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna said it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail. Grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram at this stage will hamper the investigation, it said. Follow LIVE updates
The investigating agency has to be given sufficient freedom to conduct a probe into the case, the apex court said. It also rejected Chidambaram’s application for direction to the ED to produce transcripts of his questioning conducted by the agency on three dates.
The ED has accused the Congress leader of money-laundering in the case, which is also being investigated by the CBI. CBI had lodged an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in FIPB clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds worth Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, ED lodged a money laundering case in 2017.
The Delhi High Court had on August 20, rejected anticipatory bail pleas of Chidambaram in the INX media scam cases lodged by the CBI and ED. The high court held that he was “prima facie the kingpin” in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases and “simply because he is a Member of Parliament would not justify the grant of pre-arrest bail to him”.
Chidambaram, son Karti get anticipatory bail in Aircel Maxis case
A Delhi court Thursday granted anticipatory bail to former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in Aircel Maxis cases filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. Special Judge O P Saini granted relief to the Chidambarams and directed them to join the probe in the cases. “In event of arrest, they be released on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of like amount. The accused are directed to join the investigation,” the court said.