Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday night walked out of Delhi’s Tihar Jail, hours after the Supreme Court granted him bail in connection with the Enforcement Directorate’s charges in the INX Media case, NDTV reported.
The Union minister was taken into custody in August by the Central Bureau of Investigation. He was moved to Tihar on September 5, and was in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody since October 17. The Supreme Court granted him bail in the CBI case on October 22.
“There is not a single charge framed against me,” Chidambaram said as he walked out of prison. “I am happy to step outside prison after 106 days and breathe the air of freedom,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying. Chidambaram refused to comment on the case following the Supreme Court’s order, but told reporters that he would address a press conference on Thursday, ANI reported.
From there, the former Union finance minister went to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi’s home. He was accompanied by his son Karti Chidambaram, who said the senior Congress leader might attend the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament on Thursday.
In its order, the top court ordered the Congress leader to continue taking part in the investigation. Chidambaram has also been forbidden from travelling outside the country, tampering with evidence, and approaching witnesses. The court asked him to pay a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh with two sureties of like amounts.
Last month, the Delhi High Court had denied Chidambaram bail on the grounds that the allegations were serious in nature, and observed that he seemed to have “played an active role” in the alleged crime. However, the court noted that its observations were not final in nature.
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 CBI, 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”.