The Supreme Court today granted bail to Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), according to news agency ANI. A three-judge bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy pronounced the verdict.
Supreme Court restrains P Chidambaram from giving press interviews or making statements with regard to the case. Chidambaram has also been asked to furnish bail bond of ₹2 lakh plus two sureties of same amount. Supreme also says that Chidambaram can't travel abroad without the top court's permission.
The top court, which observed that economic offences are grave in nature, said "grant of bail is rule and refusal is exception".
The apex court directed the Registry to accept three sets of sealed covers from the ED and keep them in safe custody for the perusal of the court.
The apex court made it clear that its order would not be construed to be the findings on merits of the case.
The court said the alleged complicity of Chidambaram in the case would be examined during the trial.
On November 28, Supreme Court had reserved the order on the petition filed by former finance minister P Chidambaram, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.
The Delhi High Court had, on November 15, dismissed his bail plea. P Chidambaram sought bail in a case pertaining to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as the finance minister.
CBI had registered a corruption case in this regard in May 2017. Later that year, the ED also lodged a money laundering case.
The Congress leader was first arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case but was granted bail by the Supreme Court two months later.
He was arrested by the ED in the INX Media money laundering case on October 16.
(With agency inputs)