SC rejects Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea in ED case

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal of former Union minister P Chidambaram against the Delhi High Court order rejecting his anticipatory plea in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.

 

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna said it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail.

The bench said that Granting of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram at this stage will hamper the investigation.

It further stated that economic offences stand at different footing and it has to be dealt with a different approach. And added that Chidambaram can move regular bail before the trial court.

On Tuesday, the CBI had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, requesting it not to entertain the petition filed by Chidambaram challenging his CBI custody.

On August 20, the Delhi High Court had rejected anticipatory bail pleas of Chidambaram in the INX media scam cases lodged by the CBI and ED.

The high court held that he was "prima facie the kingpin" in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases and "simply because he is a Member of Parliament would not justify the grant of pre-arrest bail to him".

“Holding that the former Union minister's custodial interrogation was required for an effective investigation. Granting bail in cases like the instant one will send a wrong message to the society", the high court had said.

The Congress leader's 15-day CBI custody, which started after his arrest on August 21 night, comes to an end today and he will be produced before the trial court.

The CBI had registered an FIR alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPM) clearance given to INX media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was the finance minister.

“The firm once promoted by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, both in jail for murdering latter's daughter Sheena Bora, had allegedly made payments to a firm linked to finance minister's son Karti Chidambaram”, the CBI has said in the FIR.

Based on the FIR, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against him.

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