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Last Updated : Aug 20, 2019 04:24 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

INX Media Case: Delhi High Court rejects P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea

During the arguments, both CBI and ED had opposed Chidambaram's plea on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required as he was evasive during questioning

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The Delhi High Court on August 20 rejected former union minister P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea in the corruption and money laundering cases related to the INX Media scandal.

Justice Sunil Gaur, who delivered the judgement, had reserved the decision on January 25.

Denying further protection from arrest to Chidambaram, Justice Sunil Gaur said that his status as a Member of Parliament (MP) and as a legal professional does not affect the case.

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The High Court observed that prima facie, Chidambaram appears to be the kingpin, according to News18. The court also said that Chidambaram has been evasive in his replies.

"Magnitude and enormity of material produced disentitle him from any pre-arrest bail," the HC said.

According to reports, Chidambaram is likely to move the Supreme Court of India (SC) against the High Court's order.

During the arguments, both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed Chidambaram's plea on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required as he was evasive during questioning.

Both the probe agencies had contended that during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister, Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance was granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007.

The ED contended that the companies in which money was transferred are directly or indirectly controlled by Chidambaram's son, Karti, and they have a reason to believe that the FIPB approval was granted to INX Media on his son's intervention.

The high court had on July 25, 2018 granted interim protection from arrest to Chidambaram in both the cases and it was extended from time to time.

The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.

It was during his tenure as finance minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-I government that clearances from the FIPB were given to the two ventures.

In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED had in 2018 lodged the money laundering case in this regard.

Chidambaram's petition had said that though no summons had ever been served on him by the ED in this case, he had an apprehension of arrest in view of the summons issued to him by the CBI, which was investigating the scheduled offence.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published on Aug 20, 2019 03:15 pm
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