The Supreme Court on Friday sent a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation, asking it to reply to former Union minister P Chidambaram’s bail plea in the INX Media case, Live Law reported. The Congress leader, who is lodged in Tihar jail at present, had moved the top court on Thursday to seek bail after the Delhi High Court dismissed the plea on Monday.

Justices R Banumathi and Hrishikesh Roy asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI, to submit its response. The court listed the matter for hearing on October 15.

Chidambaram’s counsel senior advocate Kapil Sibal referred to the Delhi High Court’s order on September 30 and said the court had applied three tests of flight risk, evidence tampering and influencing of witnesses to decide the case. He said the judgement had gone against the Congress leader only on the third count on witnesses, according to PTI.

“This is concerning the CBI case. What has happened to the Enforcement Directorate’s case,” the court asked Sibal. To which, the lawyer said that the agency had not arrested Chidambaram in connection with its money laundering case.

The bench then asked the solicitor general to file CBI’s response, to which Mehta said it would be done by October 14. Chidambaram’s counsel told the court they would also file a rejoinder after CBI’s reply. The Supreme Court bench asked all the submissions to be filed by October 14.

The case

The former finance minister was taken into CBI custody since his arrest on August 21. He has been in Tihar jail since September 5. On September 19, a special court in Delhi extended his judicial custody till October 3, and it was further extended till October 17.

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. Chidambaram 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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