New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday ordered an interim stay on arresting former finance minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media corruption case till 3 July. This comes a day after a special CBI court in Delhi granted similar interim protection to Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Justice A.K. Pathak directed Chidambaram to cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the ongoing probe into his alleged role in the INX Media case.
The CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) have been probing the role of Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the alleged kickbacks for facilitating Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the media company in 2007.
Karti is accused of receiving Rs10 lakh in kickbacks in connection with the FIPB clearance worth Rs305 crore for INX Media, owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. The allegation pertains to the time when Chidambaram was the finance minister during the UPA-I government.
The court asked CBI’s special public prosecutor to file its reply within three weeks.
Chidambaram had moved the high court on 30 May after CBI asked him to appear before the investigating agency on 31 May for questioning in the INX Media case.
The summons to him came a month after his son Karti was granted bail by the Delhi high court in the case. However, the investigating agency confirmed that he failed to appear for questioning on Thursday, citing “personal reasons."
People familiar with the developments stated that Chidambaram was likely to be summoned again over the next few days.
Chidambaram is seeking anticipatory bail on the ground that CBI has “suddenly and in a completely mala fide manner" issued the notice dated 28 May directing him to appear despite the fact that he has not been named in the first information report (FIR) as an accused..