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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

‘In jail for 90 days’: Chidambaram appeals for bail to Chief Justice Bobde

SC agrees to hear Chidambaram’s plea against Delhi HC order refusing him bail in INX Media case

india Updated: Nov 18, 2019 17:22 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
P Chidambaram speaks to the media.
P Chidambaram speaks to the media. (HT File)
         

Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday appealed to the Supreme Court against the high court rejecting his bail request last week. Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation from his house on August 21 in the INX Media case. Chidambaram was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a related money laundering case as well before he got bail in the CBI case on October 22.

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal mentioned Chidambaram’s request for bail as soon as a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde started the day. Chief Justice Bobde had been sworn-in as the country’s 47th CJI just minutes earlier.

Sibal told the top court that Chidambaram’s bail request had been rejected by the high court last week. “He has been in jail for 90 days,” says Sibal, requesting the bench, which also comprised justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant, hear the case on an early date.

Also Watch l CBI & ED heat on Chidambaram: All there is to know about the INX media case 

Chief Justice Bobde responded to the request: “Tomorrow or the day after.”

Justice Suresh Kait of the high court had last week turned down the 74-year-old veteran politician’s bail request. The judge had observed that a wrong message will go to the public at large if bail is granted to P Chidambaram in such a case.

The judge had ruled that the allegations against Chidambaram are serious and he is alleged to have played an active and key role in the present case.

“It cannot be disputed that entire community is aggrieved if the economic offenders who ruin the economy of the State are not brought to book, as such offences affect the very fabric of democratic governance and probity in public life,” the court said dismissing his bail plea.

The court had also ruled that the material collected by the ED in the money laundering case is “distinct, different and independent” of material collected by the CBI in the corruption case.

The case relates to an FIR registered by the CBI on May 15, 2017 over alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance provided to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister. The Enforcement Directorate had later registered a money laundering case against Chidambaram in a related case.