INX Media: P Chidambaram Moves Delhi HC Seeking Bail In ED Matter
Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail in the money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to INX Media FDI transaction.
Chidambaram is currently under ED custody which expires tomorrow.
Notably, the bail plea has made reference to observations made by the Supreme Court in yesterday's order granting him bail in the case registered by CBI for corruption allegations in relation to INX Media transaction.
The SC had observed that mere averments that Chidambaram had approached the witnesses and the assertion that he would further pressurize the witnesses, without any material basis, cannot be the reason to deny regular bail. The apex court had also rejected the submission made by Solicitor General that Chidambaram was a 'flight risk'.
In the bail application, Chidambaram has averred that ED had arrested him with mala fide intention to harm his reputation.
It is also submitted in the plea that Chidambaram doesn't qualify for the triple test criteria required to deny bail. There's nothing to suggest that Chidambaram poses a flight risk. Moreover, he has always been available during investigation.
The plea also goes on to mention that Chidambaram is a renowned public figure with deep roots in the society. He has been in public life for over 40 years.
It is also averred that ED has not recovered any evidence which has a potential of incriminating Chidambaram. No documents or materials, which can be potentially incriminating, have been recovered by the agency during search and seizures.
Lastly, Chidambaram has also highlighted in the plea that all other accused persons in the case are already released on bail.
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.
Supreme Court in its judgment, wherein bail was granted to Chidambaram, has mentioned that he can be released if he's not detained in any other matter.