The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing for the bail application of former Union minister P Chidambaram till Wednesday as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, was busy with the hearing of the pleas on Jammu and Kashmir, Bar and Bench reported. The top court had, last week, asked the agency to respond to the bail plea in the INX Media case by November 25.
The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions against the restrictions imposed on the people of Union Territory following the Centre’s decision to abrogate the special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5.
Chidambaram had moved the top court on November 18 after the Delhi High Court rejected his bail application. The High Court had dismissed the bail plea on November 15, saying the charges against him were serious and that he “played an active role” in the case.
Last week, a court in Delhi had allowed the Enforcement Directorate to interrogate Congress leader P Chidambaram in Tihar Jail for two days.
The 74-year-old leader, who was first arrested on August 21 by the Central Bureau of Investigation, has been in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody since October 17. He has been in Tihar Jail since September 5.
In October, the Supreme Court granted the former minister bail in connection with the inquiries being conducted by the CBI, dismissing its contention that he was a flight risk. The agency has filed a review petition in the top court.
The INX Media case
The Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case in May 2017 against P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, INX Media, and the company’s owners Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is also looking into the case, has said 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 Karti Chidambaram, claiming that these emails will “prove offences committed”.