NEW DELHI :
Former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram on Monday filed a rejoinder to the counter affidavit of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in relation to the proceedings of the bail application moved by him in the corruption and money laundering case in connection to the INX Media case. The arguments on his bail plea were part heard today and would be continued on Tuesday.
Justice Suresh Kait will continue the arguments tomorrow.
The senior Congress leader in his rejoinder has denied that cogent evidence incriminating him is already on record of investigation.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that no single officer can take a decision on the proposal. It is a collective decision of six secretaries, assisted by several officers in the FIPB Unit and the Department of Economic Affairs respectively. Hence, it would be wrong to allege that any person, such as the Petitioner or the Petitioner’s son could have influenced any official of the FIPB, including all 6 (Six) senior Secretaries to the Government of India.
Chidambaram has also denied that he used his high and influential office of the finance minister of the country for personal gains.
In a rejoinder to CBI's reply on his bail plea, he said that a look out circular (LOC) has already been issued against him and it is preposterous to allege that he is a flight risk and can evade the process of law.
Denying CBI charges of the present case being a clear betrayal of public trust at large, the former finance minister said that the ₹305 crore which came to INX media as foreign direct investment was well within the approval percentage of 46.216 per cent.
“In so far as the allegation of the present case being a clear case of betrayal of public trust at large is concerned, it is submitted that there is no loss to the public exchequer in this case. No public funds were involved in this case and it is also not a case of bank fraud or taking money out of the country or defrauding depositors or stealing money from a company." He said in his reply.
"No public funds were involved in this case and it is not a case of bank fraud or taking money out of the country or defrauding depositors in stealing money," it added.
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on 19th September extended the congress leader’s judicial custody till 3rd October.
CBI had on 15 May 2017 registered a first information report against Chidambaram for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of ₹305 crore in 2007 when he was the finance minister. The enforcement directorate lodged money laundering cases against him in 2018. Chidambaram was arrested on 21 August.