INX Media case: Chidambaram gets bail, out after 106 days in Tihar jail

Congress leader P Chidambaram (left) being greeted by party workers after he was released from Tihar jail on Wednesday. Also seen is his son Karti | PHOTO: PTI
After 106 days in custody, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram walked out of Tihar jail on Wednesday to a vigorous welcome from party leaders.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court (SC) granted him bail in a money laundering case linked to INX Media, but restrained him from talking to the media about the case.

Chidambaram is set to be the party’s lead speaker on economic issues in the remainder of the winter session of Parliament and will address a press conference on Thursday.

The SC said the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s claim that Chidambaram can tamper with evidence cannot be accepted as he is neither in “political power” nor holds any post in the government. It also ticked off the agency for presenting evidence in a sealed cover.

Setting aside the November 15 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him bail, the SC said it “disapproves” the manner in which conclusions were recorded in certain paragraphs of the HC verdict.

Stepping out of Tihar at 8.10 pm, Chidambaram was received by his son Karti, other leaders of the Congress and hundreds of slogan-shouting party workers. “The fact is that after 106 days of pre-trial incarceration there is not a single charge framed against me,” Chidambaram said.

He then headed to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence and subsequently retired to his Jor Bagh home. “I am happy that I have stepped out and breathing the air of freedom,” he said.

Chidambaram has been in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the ED and in Tihar jail since his dramatic arrest by CBI sleuths from his home on August 21. The CBI is probing a corruption case linked to INX Media, the ED is investigating the money laundering case.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: “I’m confident that he will be able to prove his innocence in a fair trial,” Gandhi tweeted. 

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