Former Union minister P Chidambaram is “dis-entitled” from anticipatory bail in the INX Media case in view of the “magnitude and enormity “of the material produced by the investigating agencies, the Delhi High Court said today. The court, which granted him interim relief last year, also said he has not been cooperating with the investigating agencies.
Mr Chidambaram has denied any irregularities in the matter, saying he is being targeted by the BJP-led Central government for political reasons.
The verdict today leaves the former Union minister open to arrest, unless he gets relief from the Supreme Court.
Investigating agencies claim that during his tenure as the finance minister in 2007, Mr Chidambaram had ensured that the television company – owned then by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea – got government clearance to receive foreign funds to the tune of Rs. 305 crore in 2007. The agencies claim that Mr Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, had taken bribes for it.
The court advocated a hard line in cases of economic offences.
“This is an economic offence and has to be dealt with iron hands… The hands of investigating agencies cannot be tied up in such a massive economic offence,” said Justice Sunil Gaur, who was hearing the case.
The petitioner, he added, has been “evasive in his replies and has not cooperated with the investigations”.
Mr Chidambaram’s legal team is approaching the Supreme Court tomorrow to appeal against the High Court’s order.
Karti Chidambaram was arrested in the case last year and remained in custody for 23 days.
The Chidambarams were named in the case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea – who owned INX Media at the time. The two are currently in jail, accused of being involved in the murder of Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter Sheena Bora.
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