DELHI High Court on Monday refused to grant bail to senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case.
The single bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed that the investigation in the case is at an advanced stage and the possibility of influencing the witnesses could not be ruled out.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the High Court. On September 3, after the expiry of the maximum time period for police custody, special CBI judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar sent Chidambaram to Tihar Jail under judicial custody till October 3.
The CBI argued before the Court that Chidambaram is an influential person and has the potential of tampering the evidence with his mere presence.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi arguing for the Chidambaram contended before the court that the alleged offences – of cheating and criminal conspiracy – under which Chidambaram is booked has a maximum punishment for 7 years and thus are not grave, and therefore he must be considered for bail.
The senior advocates also contended that he is a renowned public figure and therefore there is no possibility of him fleeing the investigation.
The INX Media case involves alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the broadcasting company. An FIR was registered by the CBI in this case on May 15, 2017 whereas the ED lodged a money laundering case next year.