NEW DELHI :
The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of former union finance minister P. Chidambaram’s bail plea in the INX Media case to Wednesday. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will argue its case on Wednesday as Chidambaram's counsel concluded its arguments today.
The apex court division bench headed by Justice R.Banumathi will hear the case on Wednesday at 2pm.
The CBI registered an FIR in May 2017 for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was the finance minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-1 government. Thereafter, the enforcement directorate lodged a money laundering cases against him.
Today, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Chidambaram, said the CBI notice outside the former minister’s residence asking him to appear before the agency failed to mention the provisions under which the notice was issued. Sibal also argued that was it was settled that bail cannot be denied based on apprehensions alone and the high court judges who have denied the bail have no evidence of the possibility of Chidambaram influencing witnesses.
"Bail is the rule, jail is an exception. Arrest is the stigma and harassment," said senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi who was also representing Chidambaram. "How much credibility will your lordships give to a sealed cover without an affidavit and give credibility to an accused who is also in jail on a murder charge, that too of her own daughter."
Singhvi also said all the other accused in case were out on bail."Karti Chidambaram, the so called CA Bhaskar Raman and the two Mukherjeas, everyone is on bail except P Chidambaram," said Singhvi.
The Supreme Court on 4 October had issued notice to CBI on the bail plea filed by Chidambaram in the INX Media Case. The veteran Congress leader on 3 October had moved the Supreme Court seeking bail in the INX Media corruption case after being denied the same by Delhi high court.
The Delhi High Court on 30 September had dismissed the bail plea of the veteran Congress leader in the money laundering and corruption case related to INX Media. Justice Suresh Kait had then said that Chidambaram was not a flight risk but can possibly influence witnesses.
Chidambaram has been remanded to judicial custody till 17 October.