P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram on Wednesday morning heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court granted bail to his father in the INX Media case. “Phew. At last after 106 days,” tweeted Karti Chidambaram.
Karti Chidambaram told NDTV that his father will be in Parliament at 11 am on Thursday.
Chidambaram’s “incarceration was vengeful and vindictive”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. “I’m glad that the SC has granted him bail. I’m confident that he will be able to prove his innocence in a fair trial.” The Congress too hailed the Supreme Court’s order. “Truth finally prevails,” said the party.
The 74-year-old former finance minister has been in custody since August 21 – first with the Central Bureau of Investigation and then with the Enforcement Directorate since October 17. He has been in Delhi’s Tihar jail since September 5. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the CBI case on October 22 but remained in prison due to the simultaneous inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate.
The top court observed that Chidambaram had participated in the investigation, and ordered him to continue to do so and not to talk to the press about the case while on bail. He was also prohibited from travelling overseas and tampering with evidence or contacting witnesses.
The former Union minister had moved the top court after the Delhi High Court had rejected his bail plea on November 15. Earlier, the Delhi High Court had denied Chidambaram bail on the grounds that the allegations were serious in nature and that he seemed to have “played an active role” in the alleged crime.
Congress celebrating corruption, says BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, took potshots at the Congress and called it a “classic case” the party “celebrating corruption”.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Chidambaram has joined the “long list of OOBC (Out On Bail Club) in the Congress”. Other members of this “coveted club” are Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Robert Vadra, Motilal Vora, Bhupinder Hooda and Shashi Tharoor, he claimed.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said there was evidence for the cases against him and there have been inquiries. But the matter is now subjudice and the court will decide, he told ANI. “We have never been vindictive, on the other hand when Chidambaram was home minister during Congress rule, he filed false cases against me, he also filed false cases against [Narendra] Modi and Amit Shah,” Gadkari added. “Later, we all were proved innocent.”