Chidambaram in Rajya Sabha after release on bail, joins protest over onion price

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NEW DELHI: Congress leader P Chidambaram, who has been released from Tihar Jail on bail after 106 days in custody, was present in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

 

The former finance minister, who walked out of jail on Wednesday night, said he was happy to be back.

Speaking to reporters in the Parliament complex while joining other Congress MPs protesting against the steep hike in onion prices, Chidambaram said he will address the media in the afternoon.

"The government cannot suppress my voice in Parliament," he told reporters here.

The Congress MPs protested with a basket full of onions, holding banners and shouting slogans demanding that the government should reduce the prices and stop harassing the poor.

74-year-old Chidambaram was granted bail by a three-judge Supreme Court bench after 106 days in custody.

A bench of justices R Banumathi, AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy set aside the Delhi High Court order, which had refused to grant bail to the former finance minister.

The bench said that Chidambaram would not leave the country without prior permission of the court and neither try to influence the witnesses nor tamper with evidence.

A bench headed by justices R Banumathi also directed the former finance minister to furnish a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties of the same amount.

The apex court ordered him not to give a press interview and not make any public statement with regard to this case.

Chidambaram was first arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case.

However, he was granted bail by the Supreme Court in that case on October 22, but he could not be released from the jail since ED arrested him on October 16 in money laundering case related to the same matter.

The case pertains to an FIR registered by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 by Chidambaram when he was the Finance Minister. Thereafter, a case was registered by the ED.

 

Image credit: ANI

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