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INX Media case: Supreme Court reserves order on Chidambaram's plea against HC denying bail

INX Media case: Supreme Court reserves order on Chidambarams plea against HC denying bail

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved verdict on former finance minister P Chidambaram's bail plea in the case registered by CBI in the INX Media scam. The former FM's plea is against a Delhi High Court order denying him bail in the corruption case. Earlier in the day, Chidambaram, his son Karti and former media baron Indrani Mukerjea were among the 14 persons named in the CBI's chargesheet in the case, news agency PTI reported.

The CBI chargesheet was filed a day after a Delhi court allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to quiz the senior Congress leader till October 24 and had extended his judicial custody in the case lodged by the CBI till the same date.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the former Finance Minister, argued: "If what chargesheet says is true, then convict. Why trial? See what happened in 2G."

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta objected, saying that 2-G case is sub-judice to which Sibal said that there was a judgment in the case. "Sometimes you threaten, sometimes interrupt," Sibal added.

During the hearing, the CBI told SC that we are witnessing an era where persons accused of financial offences are fleeing the country. "As a nation we are facing this problem," the CBI told the court.

The probe agency further went on to say that Chidambaram's 'mere presence' is enough to intimidate witnesses. He should he not be given bail at least till material witnesses are examined, it said.

In May 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the INX group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007. Chidambaram was Union Finance Minister at the time.

The Congress leader has been in judicial custody at Tihar Jail ever since he was arrested on August 21 by CBI sleuths from his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi. On September 30, the Delhi High Court denied the Congress leader bail, citing the "possibility" of him influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.

On Wednesday, the former minister was arrested from Tihar jail by the ED, which is probing charges of money laundering in the same case. Chidambaram has denied the ED's claims of bank accounts or properties abroad.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Mukerjea, who was the former director of INX Media, had turned an approver in the alleged corruption case.

(Inputs from The Indian Express)

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