New Delhi: In a major development to the INX Media case, Delhi High Court on Friday will hear and pass an order on the bail application of former finance minister Congress leader P Chidambaram who is now under the ED custody. Also Read - INX Media Case: Delhi Court Extends Judicial Custody of Chidambaram Till November 27
The development comes after Justice Suresh Kait had on November 8 reserved the order on the bail application after hearing the arguments of counsels for Chidambaram and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
During the last hearing, the Congress leader had sought bail saying as the evidence is documentary and in the custody of probe agencies, he cannot tamper them, but the ED had opposed his plea on the ground that he has tried to influence and threaten witnesses.
Representing the ED, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the court that the set of evidence in the money laundering case and the CBI corruption case is different and the PMLA case is more heinous and “much, much, much more serious than it meets the eyes”.
“It is the gravest of grave offence as it is an economic offence which is a standalone offence,” he had argued.
Appearing for Chidambaram, senior advocate Kapil Sibal had said since the beginning, the probe agency’s case was never that the Congress leader tried to influence witnesses.
At the moment, Chidambaram is lodged in Tihar Jail and is under the judicial custody of the ED in the money-laundering case. The ED had arrested Chidambaram on October 16 and then got his custody from the court. After that, he was sent to judicial custody in Tihar jail till November 13.
Apart from ED, he was also arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case. The case was registered by the CBI on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister.
On Wednesday, a Special court at Rouse Avenue Court Complex had extended his judicial custody till November 27 in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
The Congress leader had appeared before the court through video conferencing due to lawyers’ strike in the courts across Delhi post the Tis Hazari clash incident.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)