[dropcap]A[/dropcap] special judge of CBI Court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail in all four applications filed by former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case.
While granting relief, special CBI judge OP Saini, remarked, “In the event of arrest, they can be released on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of the like amount. The accused are directed to join in the investigation”.
However, the court prohibited both P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram from traveling abroad.
“The allegations against accused are also not of grave magnitude as money laundered is only Rs 1.13 crore, which is paltry amount in comparison to allegations against Dayanidhi Maran and others, where the bribe amount was Rs 749 crore but he was not arrested,” the Special CBI judge observed.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court rejected P Chidambaram’s plea to grant protection against arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case. The two-judge bench of Justices R Bhanumathi and AS Bopanna during the hearing said “anticipatory bail has to be exercised sparingly in cases of economic offences. Considering the facts and circumstances, this is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail”.
However, the apex court allowed Chidambaram to apply for regular bail in the trial court in INX Media case.
Chidambaram is in CBI custody from last 15 days after the Delhi High Court denied him anticipatory bail. The special CBI court had extended Chidambaram’s custody step-by-step in five instances in the INX Media case.
Today, Chidambaram was also produced in the special CBI court where the CBI moved an application for judicial custody of Chidambaram. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Chidambaram while opposing the judicial custody contended that “there is no charge-sheet. They say I am a powerful and influential witness but they have no evidence. There is no evidence of tampering of evidence”.
The court has now reserved the order after hearing arguments from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate Kapil Sibal on the release of Chidambaram from the CBI custody in the INX Media case.