INX Media case: Delhi HC junks former FM Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea

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Updated: August 20, 2019 4:45:44 PM

The case, which involves Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, pertains to the nod given by Foreign Investment Promotion Board to INX media in 2007.

INX MediaP Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram have been accused of swinging FIPB’s approval in INX Media’s favour.

In a significant blow to Congress leader and former Finance minister P Chidambaram, the Delhi High Court today rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case, bringing to an end the months of protection he enjoyed from arrest by investigative agencies probing the case. The case, which involves Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, pertains to the nod given by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to INX media in 2007. Back then, Chidambaram was the finance minister and part of the Manmohan Singh cabinet under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Congress.

Justice Sunil Gaur said that both the petitions, in the CBI and Enforcement Directorate cases pertaining to corruption and money laundering, had been dismissed. The court’s refusal to entertain Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea paves the way for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to arrest the Congress leader in the case, if they so require. Both the agencies, CBI and ED, argues that they wanted to interrogate Chidambaram while he was in custody as the former finance minister was evasive during questioning.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal is exploring a possibility to appeal the Delhi HC order in the Supreme Court.

The FIR in the case was registered on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister. The now defunct company INX Media had been floated by Indrani Mukerjea and her husband Peter Mukerjea. Indrani, who is also facing trial for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, had turned approver in the case earlier this year.

Indrani had claimed that Peter struck a deal with Karti Chidambaram to ensure that the FIPB approval is in INX Media’s favour. Chidambaram now has the option to approach the trial court seeking anticipatory bail.

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