P Chidambaram (Ramesh Pathania/Mint file)
P Chidambaram (Ramesh Pathania/Mint file)

Delhi HC tells CBI to reply to ex-FM’s bail plea in a week

  • The court asked the CBI to respond in a week. The case will be heard on 23 September
  • The high court had on 20 August rejected the anticipatory bail application of Chidambaram against CBI and the ED in the case

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a plea filed by senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram seeking regular bail in the INX Media corruption case.

The case was listed before Justice Suresh Kumar Kait who asked CBI to respond in a week. The case will be heard on 23 September.

Since the next hearing in the case is after 10 days, there is bleak possibility of an interim relief for the former Union minister, who is lodged in Tihar jail since 5 September following an order by the CBI court.

Chidambaram, through his legal team, had filed the regular bail plea in Delhi High Court on Wednesday.

In his petition, the leader alleged that the order to send him to judicial custody was against the settled principles of law, and that it was a malafide case against him as a result of political vendetta. The arrest itself was illegal in nature as it was done by abusing the process enumerated under the legal provisions, he added.

The high court had on 20 August rejected the anticipatory bail application of Chidambaram against CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media case. Subsequently, a petition challenging the Delhi high court order was mentioned in Supreme Court on 21 August morning by the legal team of Chidambaram but the case could not be heard. Later in the evening on the same day, the 73-year old Congress leader was arrested by the CBI post high drama.

On 22 August, the CBI court held that there were some serious allegations against Chidambaram and therefore he was remanded to police custody. It also said the probe agency apprehended that the investigation in the case could be hampered because of Chidambaram's status and position.

The CBI, on 15 May 2017, registered an FIR against Chidambaram for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media when he was the finance minister.

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