SC verdict on Chidambaram's bail plea in INX media case likely on Oct 22

CBI) officials arrest Congress leader P Chidambaram from his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi on Wednesday | Photo: PTI

The Supreme Court is scheduled on Tuesday to pronounce judgement on former finance minister P Chidambaram's plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict denying him bail in the INX Media corruption case.

Chidambaram was arrested in connection with the graft case on August 21 by the CBI, which has recently chargesheeted him and others, including his son Karti and some bureaucrats, for causing loss to the exchequer by allegedly committing offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.

Chidambaram is presently in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media money laundering case.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.

Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017.

The 74-year-old senior Congress leader approached the apex court challenging the September 30 verdict of the high court which had dismissed his bail plea in the INX Media corruption case, filed by the CBI, saying the probe was at an advanced stage and the possibility of his influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.

A bench comprising justices R Banumathi, A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy would also pronounce its verdict on the CBI's plea challenging the findings of the high court which had said that Chidambaram was not a 'flight risk' and cannot tamper with the evidence.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi, appearing for the senior Congress leader, had argued in the top court that Chidambaram should be granted bail in the case as he was neither a 'flight risk' and nor there was any possibility of him tampering with the evidence.

They had also argued that there were no allegations against Chidambaram that he or his family members had ever tried to influence any witnesses in the case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, had opposed his plea seeking bail and said that he had tried to influence and intimidate witnesses related to the case.

Terming Chidambaram as a 'flight risk', Mehta had argued that he has wherewithal to flee the country and can easily survive in any foreign nation.

He had told the bench that 14 accused, including Chidambaram and his son Karti, have been chargesheeted in the case and offence of forgery has also been made out during the probe.

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