Set-back for former FM: INX Media: HC nixes anticipatory bail plea of PC

Justice Sunil Gaur of Delhi High Court on Tuesday, after hearing, dismissed the anticipatory bail application of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media case.

Central Bureau of Investigation and Directorate of Enforcement Directorate have alleged that P Chidambaram and his son, Karti, received illegal gratification from INX Media owners, Peter and Indrani Mukherjea. It is alleged that when P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister, irregularities were allegedly committed in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media.

Counsel for Chidambaram submitted before the court that in the FIR the veteran Indian National Congress leader was not named as an accused and even the sections invoked not make out a case against him. He further submitted that investigation was initiated by CBI and the ED in 2018 while the case pertains to alleged irregularities in 2007 in the grant of FIPB clearance.

The former FM’s counsel submitted that the court only needed to satisfy itself on three conditions before granting bail-absence of flight risk, no risk of evidence tampering and accused being available for further investigation.

Opposing the bail application, investigating agencies contended that the court may allow it to exercise their “statutory right to arrest” so as to enable them to interrogate Chidambaram in custody as he was evasive and non cooperative when he appeared for questioning in relation to the case.

Justice Gaur, after hearing arguments on behalf of both sides, said that a prima facie case was made out against Chidambaram and it would not be appropriate to grant anticipatory bail.