P Chidambaram News: Today, 4th December 2019, The Supreme Court of India granted bail to Congress leader P Chidambaram in Enforcement Directorate’s (ED’s) case of INX Media. Chidambaram was arrested on 21st August and spent 105 days in custody.
The top court in today’s hearing heard the plea of the former Union Minister seeking bail in the INX Media corruption case. On the 21st of August CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) arrested Chidambaram from his residence in Jor Bagh, Delhi following his connection with the INX Media case and was booked in Tihar Jail ever since.
As the Supreme Court granted bail to Chidambaram, said that the severity of offences needs to be adjudged by the circumstances and facts presented by every case. The apex court had said ‘Economic offences are grave offences. Courts have to be sensitive to the nature of the case’.
Supreme Court ordered Chidambaram to submit a bail bond of Rs. 2 lakh and in addition to 2 securities of same amount. The court has ordered him not to leave the country with taking prior permission from it.
In Addition, the top court has asked the former Union Minister to make public statements or give press interviews with regards to the INX Media case.
On 28th of November Supreme Court bench headed by R Banumathi reserved its verdict on the plea filed by P Chidambaram challenging Delhi High Court’s judgement of denying him a bail in the case. The verdict by Delhi High Court came on the 15th of November.
P Chidambaram’s son was relieved by the verdict of Supreme Court and tweeted ‘Phew. At last after 106 days’.
Phew. At last after 106 days 🙂— Karti P Chidambaram (@KartiPC) December 4, 2019
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The Supreme Court overruled Delhi High Court’s verdict on denying Chidambaram bail saying ‘It is not a rule that bail should be denied in every case. Delhi High Court was justified in denying bail relating to gravity of the offence’. The Court added, ‘However, we disapprove of the Delhi High Court making observations on the merits of the case’.
During the arguments in the Supreme Court, the ED claimed that even while P Chidambaram is lodged in Tihar Jail he has the power to exert ‘substantial influence’ on key witnesses of the INX Media case. However, Chidambaram countered by claiming that ED should not harm his career and reputation by making baseless allegations.
Solicitor General Tishar Mehta who represented ED in the court opposed Chidambaram bail plea said that economic offences such as money laundering are serious as they not only hamper a country’s economy but also shake the trust of population which they have in the system, exclaiming, especially when the offence is committed by the same people they brought in power.
Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal who are representing P Chidambaram countered Mehta’s arguments and submissions by maintaining that neither there is any evidence that links the former Union Minister directly or indirectly with the offence nor the prosecutor (ED/Advocate Mehta) submitted any document or material that show that Chidambaram had tampered with an evidence of has any influence over the witnesses.
Chidambaram got arrested on the 21st August 2019 by the CBI for INX Media case, but was granted bail by the SC on the 22nd of October, however he was not released from the Tihar Jail as on the 17th of October ED took him under custody.
On 15th May 2017, the CBI registered the case after finding irregularities in clearance granted to INX Media group for obtaining overseas finding of Rs. 305 crore in 2007 by the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board). At the time P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister of India.
Following this, ED Lodged a money laundering case.