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INX Media Case : SC To Pronounce Judgment On Chidambaram's Bail Plea Tomorrow

21 Oct 2019 12:56 PM GMT
INX Media Case : SC To Pronounce Judgment On Chidambaram
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The Supreme Court will pronounce judgment tomorrow on the appeal filed by former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram against the September 30 judgment of the Delhi High Court which denied him regular bail in the INX Media case.

The bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy had reserved judgment on October 18.

The bench had also heard the cross appeal filed by the CBI against the finding of the Delhi High Court that Chidamabaram did not pose a 'flight risk' and that there was no apprehension that he would tamper evidence. The High Court however denied him bail observing that he had the potential to influence witnesses considering his stature as a Senior Advocate and former Union Cabinet Minister.

On October 18, the CBI had submitted  charge sheet against Chidambaram, his son Karti, former INX Media head Peter Mukherjee and eleven others for offences of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy under Sections 120B, 420, 468, 471 of Indian Penal Code and offences under Sections 9 and 13(1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Peter Mukherjee's wife Indrani Mukherjee has been made an approver in the case.

Chidambaram was arrested from his Jor Bagh residence on August 21 by the CBI and has been custody since then. On September 5, he was sent to Tihar jail after 15 days of CBI custody.

The allegation is that as Union Finance Minister in 2007, Chidambaram took kickbacks for FIPB clearance for the FDI of INX media, and the money was routed through the companies linked with his son Karti Chidambaram.

The ED has registered a separate case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act in respect of the money laundering allegations. The CBI case is with respect to corruption allegations.

On October 17, the Enforcement Directorate took him into seven days custody after arresting him from Tihar jail.

The High Court took note of the 'sealed cover' notes submitted by the CBI, which stated that the accused Peter Mukherjee and Indrani Mukherjee -who controlled INX media - had met Chidambaram even before the filing of application for FIPB approval. The Court said in the judgment that it was on record that large sums of monies had come to the companies owned and controlled by Karti Chidambaram - Chidambaram's son- during the period of FIPB approval to INX Media, even though no services were rendered by those companies. Investigation has also revealed that contemporaneously large number of emails were exchanged between the representatives of INX Media and the company controlled by petitioner and Karti P. Chidambaram, the judgment said.

The High Court observed that economic offences constitute a class apart as it cuts at the root of probity and purity of public administration. An economic offence is committed with cool calculation and deliberate design with an eye on personal profit regardless of the consequence to the Community.

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