Chidambaram moves Delhi High Court for bail

Congress leader and former union minister P. Chidambaram being taken to Tihar in New Delhi, Thursday, Sept 5, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who has been under detention for 21 days in connection with the INX Media case, approached the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking regular bail.

Mr. Chidambaram, in his petitions that also challenged a trial court order remanding him in judicial custody till September 19, has said that he is being prosecuted for his being a political opponent of the party in power.

The 74-year-old said he is a senior spokesperson of the Congress and has been vocal, both in his speeches and writings, in his opposition to the BJP-led coalition government.

“...the instant criminal proceeding is mala fide and is born out of political vendetta, and that the investigating agency is acting at the behest of the Central government, which wants to malign the untainted and unimpeachable reputation of the petitioner,” the plea said. It is scheduled to come up for hearing before Justice Suresh Kumar Kait on Thursday.

Mr. Chidambaram was first arrested on August 21 from his residence in Delhi by the CBI.

The case relates to a first information report (FIR) registered by the CBI on May 15, 2017 against alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance provided to INX Media for receiving overseas funds of ₹305 crore in 2007, when Mr. Chidambaram was Finance Minister. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also investigating the alleged offence of money laundering arising out of the FIR.

“As far as FIPB cases were concerned, the petitioner (Chidambaram) approved only those cases that were recommended by the FIPB and put up to the petitioner by the Secretary, Economic Affairs,” the petition said.

Mr. Chidambaram said that during the period when he was in CBI custody, he was confronted with five officers of the Finance Ministry, who were involved in the processing of the FIPB file pertaining to INX Media.

“All of the aforesaid persons have affirmed the correctness of the approval granted to INX Media. Neither of them has alleged any illegality in the approval,” his petition said.

He said the CBI and ED had not found “even an iota of evidence of any payment by INX Media or INX News to the Petitioner or to his son Karti P. Chidambaram, co-accused in the subject FIR.”

Mr. Chidambaram said there was no likelihood of him absconding and not being available for trial.

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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 3:51:48 AM |

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