Delhi HC Rejects Anticipatory Bail Plea In INX Media Case
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 20, Aug 2019, 18:05 pm IST | UPDATED: 20, Aug 2019, 18:05 pm IST
Delhi: In a major setback to P Chidambaram, rhe Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of the Congress leader and former Union minister 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.Reports say immediately after the court order, Chidambaram met party colleague and senior advocate Kapil Sibal. Sibal, along with a team of lawyers, are currently exploring possibility of mentioning the appeal against the order in the apex court.
During the arguments on Monday, both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate 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, FIPB clearance was granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007.
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 UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (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.The following is the chronology of events in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases:
- May 15, 2017: CBI registers FIR in INX media case alleging irregularities in FIPB clearance to the group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007.
- 2018: ED lodges the money laundering case in this regard. CBI summons Chidambaram for questioning.
- May 30: Chidambaram moves Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail plea in the corruption case of CBI.
- July 23: He moves Delhi HC for anticipatory bail in the money laundering case of ED.
- July 25: High Court grants him interim protection from arrest in both cases.
- January 25, 2019: HC reserves its judgement on his anticipatory bail in both cases.
- August 20: HC dismisses the anticipatory bail pleas. It also declines Chidambaram's request to stay the order for 3 days to enable him to move an appeal in SC.