Top Court Dismisses CBI Challenge To P Chidambaram’s Bail In INX Case

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Supreme Court Dismisses CBI Challenge To P Chidambaram's Bail In INX Media Case

Supreme Court had last year dismissed CBI’s contention that P Chidambaram was a flight risk (File)

New Delhi:

A review petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against former union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s bail in the INX Media case was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Thursday.

“Application for oral hearing the review petition in open court is rejected. We have perused the Review Petition and the connected papers carefully and are convinced that the order, of which review has been sought, does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration. The Review Petition is, accordingly, dismissed,” the judges said in their ruling.

Granting him bail in the CBI case on October 22, the Supreme Court had dismissed the investigating agency’s contention that Mr Chidambaram, 74, was a flight risk.

Later in December, the top court had granted him bail in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against him in the same INX Media case.

The Supreme Court observed that Mr Chidambaram had participated in the investigation, and ordered him to continue to do so and not to talk to the press about the case while on bail. He was also prohibited from travelling overseas and tampering with evidence or contacting witnesses.

The CBI had charged Mr Chidambaram and others with allegedly receiving around Rs 10 lakh as bribe for clearing foreign investment for a private company INX Media.

The agency alleges that in 2007, during his tenure as the finance minister in the UPA government, P Chidambaram had facilitated a huge transfusion of foreign funds to the firm, then owned by former media baron Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea.

His son Karti Chidambaram had received kickbacks for the deal, investigators have said, building their case on the basis of Indrani Mukerjea’s statement.

In a separate case, the Enforcement Directorate alleged that Mr Chidambaram and his son had used the kickbacks received from Mukerjeas to buy properties in India, UK and Spain.

In August last year, the CBI arrested the former minister after dramatic chase that ended with agency officials scaling the walls of Mr Chidambaram’s south Delhi house in full view of television cameras.

On October 16, the ED arrested him in a related money-laundering case and questioned him.

He was granted bail in December after more than three months’ stay in Delhi’s Tihar jail.

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