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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

‘Already burnt our fingers’: CBI asks SC to reject Chidambaram’s bail plea

The Supreme Court on Friday reserved it’s verdict on former finance minister P Chidambaram’s plea against Delhi high court order denying him bail in the INX Media case.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2019 22:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court reserves verdict on P Chidambaram’s plea against Delhi HC order denying him bail in INX Media case
Supreme Court reserves verdict on P Chidambaram’s plea against Delhi HC order denying him bail in INX Media case(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
         

The Supreme Court on Friday concluded hearing oral arguments on former finance minister P Chidambaram’s bail request in the CBI case against him in the INX Media case.

Chidambaram argued that he wasn’t a flight risk who would escape, asking the top court judges to consider the facts: That a lookout notice prevented him from travelling abroad and he had made no requests to travel out of the country.

In the course of Friday’s hearing that, on occasions, saw Chidambaram’s lawyer Kapil Sibal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was appearing for the CBI take digs at each, Mehta said the court should take the gravity of offences into account.

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

 

“Is it such a serious offence that the accused could flee,” Mehta asked. “I’m arguing flight risk on principles,” he said.

Mehta argued that the test to determine whether a person was a flight risk clearly couldn’t be that the accused was a reputed man. He said, without taking any names of other offenders, that there had been cases where people charged with financial crimes had fled the country.

The Solicitor General also spoke outlined the broad details from the chargesheet filed by the CBI, underlining that the investigating agency had been able to trace a large number of emails exchanged in its “scientific and professional investigation”.

“We have joined all the dots to get here so far,” Mehta said.

Senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, however, stressed that the chargesheet filed by the CBI couldn’t be a ground to deny bail and pointed to the 2G spectrum allocation case where the same agency also had filed a chargesheet. “Then what happened,” he said, a reference to the high court acquitting the accused.

Mehta promptly objected to the reference to the 2G case, pointing out that the agency’s appeals were still being heard.

According to news agency ANI, Sibal shot back: “I can argue the way I want”. Mehta replied, “Don’t bring up fairytales”. When Sibal complained about Mehta interrupting him, Justice R Banumathi tried to ease the tension. “Then sometimes you both should smile, laugh and talk to each other,” Justice Banumathi said.