NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Friday denied bail to former union finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Justice Suresh Kait had reserved the order on November 8 on the bail petition after hearing the arguments of counsel for Chidambaram and the ED, which had arrested Chidambaram on October 16. He was granted bail in the CBI case on October 22.
The INX Media case pertains to the alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media when P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. He and his son Kartik Chidambaram were accused by ED as well as CBI or receiving illegal gratification from INX Media owners Peter and Indrani Mukherjea for the clearance.
In his bail plea filed through Advocate Arshdeep Singh, Chidambaram had argued that his arrest was malafide and done with the intention to harm his reputation. It was further claimed that he should be enlarged on bail as there was no incriminating evidence against him and all other accused in the case were already on bail, according to a Bar & Bench report.
The Enforcement Directorate, on the other hand, had argued that the manner in which the high office of the country was misused by Chidambaram for personal gains disentitled him from seeking any relief.
It was claimed that there was "overwhelming incriminating evidence" to establish that Chidambaram was prima facie guilty of offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The agency also raised concerns of tampering of evidence and influencing of witnesses by Chidambaram and his co-conspirators.
Chidambaram was represented by Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, N Hariharan, and Dayan Krishnan.