HC denies bail to Chidambaram in INX Media case

Chidambaram and his son Karti were named in the case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora

Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram (file photo)
Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram (file photo)

IANS/PTI

The Delhi High Court Monday refused to grant bail to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case.

Justice Suresh Kait denied bail to the Congress leader, saying there is no chance of tampering with evidence but there is a possibility that Chidambaram can influence witnesses.

During the course of hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated, "We are at a stage where we have exposed our evidence to him as we have confronted the accused and hence, the risk of tampering and influencing is much higher."

"Some people are in so powerful position that their mere presence can influence the witnesses,” he added.

"To say that I am a responsible and respected citizen is not an argument altogether. Those who have fleeced the country are the ones who are respected and responsible and having business empire and what not," the Solicitor General observed.

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal opposed the claims of the prosecution and said that Chidambaram is not at flight risk, there is no evidence of him tampering with evidence.

"After spending 40 days in prison, he will flee? They have to justify each day of incarceration. What is it that you cannot do outside jail but can do inside it," said Singhvi on behalf of Chidambaram.

Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named in the case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani's daughter Sheena Bora.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.

Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017.

Chidambaram, who is in custody since his arrest by the CBI on August 21, did not approach the trial court and had directly filed the regular bail plea in the high court. He is lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody till October 3.

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Published: 30 Sep 2019, 4:20 PM