Chidambaram faces arrest after Delhi HC denies him anticipatory bail

File photo of P Chidambaram
The Delhi High Court (HC) on Tuesday denied anticipatory bail and protection from immediate arrest to former finance minister P Chidambaram in a case related to alleged discrepancies in granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearances to the INX Media group.

Late in the evening, officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided Chidambaram’s residence in Jor Bagh here, but the Congress leader was not present. Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, too, came searching for him.

After the high court denied  relief to Chidambaram, he met Congress leaders and senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Salman Khurshid in the Supreme Court to deliberate on the further course of action. Based on the directions of a Supreme Court official, the former finance minister is likely to seek an urgent hearing from the Supreme Court in the matter on Wednesday. 

Following the development, Chidambaram stayed away from the media, even as  the Congress called the probe agencies’ action against him a “political vendetta”. 

Chidambaram and his son Karti are being probed by the CBI and the ED for alleged violations of FIPB norms during his tenure as finance minister. 

Terming the INX media case involving Chidambaram a classic "case of money laundering", the single-judge Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur said that granting bail in such cases would send a wrong message to society. The HC noted that as the senior Congress leader was evasive in his replies to the probe agencies, custodial interrogation was required for an effective investigation in the matter.

The judge said, "Facts of the case prima facie reveal that the petitioner is the kingpin, that is, the key conspirator in this case," adding, "It cannot be forgotten that the petitioner was the Finance Minister at the relevant time and he had given FDI clearances to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 Crore. Simply because he is a MP would not justify grant of pre-arrest bail to him”. 

May 15, 2017:
CBI registers FIR in INX Media case alleging irregularities in FIPB clearance to the group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007

2018: ED lodges money laundering case. CBI summons Chidambaram for questioning

May 30: Chidambaram moves Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the corruption case filed by CBI

July 23: Moves Delhi HC for anticipatory bail in the money laundering case filed of ED             

July 25: High Court grants him interim protection from arrest in both cases

January 25, 2019: HC reserves its judgement on his anticipatory bail in both cases

August 20: HC dismisses the anticipatory bail pleas. It also declines Chidambaram's request to stay the order for 3 days to enable him to move an appeal in SC

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