Karti Chidambaram gets bail, CBI says he destroyed evidence; 10 highlights

Karti Chidambaram, son of former union minister P Chidambaram being produced at Patiala House Courts in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in the INX Media corruption case. Karti was arrested on February 28 by the CBI on his return from the United Kingdom, and his 12-day judicial custody was to expire tomorrow in the case.

Justice S P Garg directed him to furnish a surety of Rs 10 lakh and imposed additional conditions including that he will seek prior permission of the CBI if he wants to leave the country. His passport is already deposited with the authorities, his lawyers had earlier told the court. The court also said that while out on bail, Karti will not tamper with any evidence in the case.

The CBI had opposed his bail plea on the grounds that he has "already destroyed evidence" in the case and was an "influential" person.

Top 10 development on Karti Chidambaram case

1. Delhi High Court grants bail to Karti Chidambaram: The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in the INX Media corruption case. The bail was granted by Justice S P Garg. The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Karti Chidambaram in February for allegedly taking money to facilitate Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister in the United Progressive Alliance government.

2. CBI seeks time to file reply on Bhaskararaman's bail plea: CBI on Monday sought time to file a reply in a Delhi Court on the anticipatory bail plea of Karti Chidambaram's charted accountant S. Bhaskararaman, in connection with INX media money laundering case.

The Patiala House Court will hear the matter on March 26.

On March 9, a Delhi Court extended the judicial custody of Bhaskararaman by 14 days in regards to the same case.

Bhaskararaman, on February 28, had filed a bail plea in a Delhi court in connection with the said case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested him in Delhi on February 16.

3. Delhi HC reserves order on Karti Chidambaram's bail plea: The Delhi High Court on March 16 reserved order on former finance minister P Chidambaram's son, Karti Chidambaram's bail plea in connection with INX Media case.

On March 15, the Supreme Court gave interim protection to Karti from arrest in connection with the same case. He now cannot be arrested until March 26 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The order was regarding the ED case pending in Delhi High Court in relation with the adjudication of the probe agency's power to arrest Karti under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The extension comes as a relief to Karti after the probe agency on March 13 moved the apex court against the High Court order, which had granted him relief.

4. Aircel-Maxis case: Karti Chidambaram's Rs 11-mn assets attached under PMLA

The adjudicating authority of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Tuesday confirmed attachment of Karti Chidambaram's assets worth Rs 11.6 million his Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case.

The Enforcement Directorate had attached movable assets in the form of Fixed Deposits and balance in saving bank account amounting to Rs 11.6 million held by Karti Chidambaram and Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd. (ASCPL) under PMLA on September 23 last year in the said case.

5. ED moves SC against HC order giving relief to Karti: The Supreme Court will hear the ED's plea against the Delhi High Court order on Karti Chidambaram in the money laundering case arising out of the INX Media matter on March 15.  

On Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court order, which had granted relief to Karti Chidambaram. Advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the probe agency, mentioned the ED's appeal for urgent hearing. On March 9, the Delhi High Court gave Karti Chidambaram a breather in a money laundering case and restrained the ED from arresting him till March 20.

6. Delhi HC judge recuses from hearing Karti's bail plea: Delhi High Court's Justice Indermeet Kaur on Tuesday recused herself from hearing Karti Chidambaram's bail plea in the INX Media corruption case. Justice Kaur did not give any reason for her recusal. She said that she would refer the matter to the Acting Chief Justice for assigning the bail plea to another Bench for Tuesday itself.

On March 12, the bail plea mentioned before a Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar and was listed for hearing on Tuesday. Karti had moved the high court seeking bail, hours after a court in New Delhi had sent him to judicial custody till March 24.

7. Karti Chidambaram seeks bail: Karti Chidambaram on March 12 moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail. A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that the matter would be heard on Tuesday by an appropriate Bench after the counsel for Karti, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, moved the court seeking bail. 

Earlier in the day, Karti was sent to judicial custody in the INX Media corruption case by a special court, which dismissed his plea that he be put in a separate cell in Tihar Jail in view of certain threat perceptions. Further, the court dismissed Karti's appeal for an urgent hearing on his bail plea and the threat perception due to the fact that his father, as a Union minister in the previous UPA government, had handled several sensitive issues.

Karti was produced before the trial court on the expiry of his three-day police remand. 

8. Karti Chidambaram denied special cell in Tihar

The court refused Karti's plea for a separate cell in the jail in view of threat perception as during his father's tenure as Union Home Minister several terrorists were kept in Tihar jail, said the social status of the Chidambaram family cannot be ignored but he cannot be treated differently from the other accused persons.

"The apprehension raised by the senior counsel for accused cannot be ignored keeping in view the social status of accused and his family, more specifically, his father, who is a former union minister. The court allowed Karti to carry spectacles and medicines as per prescription subject to examination and approval by the jail doctor, but denied his request to carry toiletries, books, clothes and home food.

9.  Karti alleges 'inhuman treatment' in CBI custody

Karti Chidambaram on Friday told a Delhi court that the CBI was meting out inhuman treatment" to him in its custody which caused his blood pressure to shoot up.

The accusations were made by Karti when he was produced before special judge Sunil Rana who directed the CBI sleuths to "do the needful, as per rules".

10. Ready for Narco test on Karti: Gujarat govt

The Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government said that narco analysis Karti Chidambaram could be conducted at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) in his state, provided the Modi government wished so.

Earlier, the CBI had approached a court in Delhi seeking a narco-analysis test on Karti to ascertain certain facts in the INX Media case.

P Chidambaram may be quizzed

Former finance minister P Chidambaram could also be called by CBI for questioning, several reports had said earlier, quoting officials of the investigating agency.