Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday moved the Supreme Court to seek bail in the INX Media case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Bar and Bench reported. The Delhi High Court had dismissed the plea on Monday.
Chidambaram has been in Tihar Jail since September 5. On September 19, a special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Delhi extended his judicial custody till October 3, and it was further extended till October 17.
Chidambaram’s counsel Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before the bench of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari. However, the judges sent the matter to be listed before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
Dismissing his plea on Monday, the High Court had said Chidambaram might influence witnesses in the case.
During an earlier hearing on September 27, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the High Court that there was a grave case to be made against Chidambaram. Mehta labelled the former finance minister a “flight risk”, and said Chidambaram’s character should not be a factor in deciding if he should be granted bail. “He is a flight risk and it would be hazardous if he gets bail,” the lawyer added. “When the accused is so powerful, his mere presence would intimidate witnesses.”
The CBI has alleged that there were irregularities in the foreign direct investment clearance granted to INX Media by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in 2007. The Congress leader was the finance minister at the time. The agency has submitted purported emails between INX Media and a company belonging to P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, claiming that these emails will “prove offences committed”.
The INX Media case is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, which filed a money laundering case in May 2017 against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media, and Indrani and Peter Mukerjea. The former owners of INX Media reportedly told the investigating agencies that Chidambaram had asked them to meet his son and help him with his business.
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