The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order in the anticipatory bail plea filed by former finance minister P Chidambaram in INX media case. However, the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram will continue till the decision is passed on his plea for anticipatory bail. The development came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) earlier in the day informed the court that custodial interrogation of the Congress leader was required in the case. The submission was made before Justice Sunil Gaur who was dealing with the plea seeking anticipatory bail in the corruption and money laundering cases relating to the INX Media scandal.
"Delhi High Court reserves order in the anticipatory bail plea filed by P. Chidambaram in INX media case," the news agency ANI reported.
Delhi High Court reserves order in the anticipatory bail plea filed by P. Chidambaram in INX media case. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/9X0ahKaMAA— ANI (@ANI) January 25, 2019
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared on behalf of the CBI and ED, reiterated that the Congress leader was evasive during interrogation, adding that he was not disclosing the material ought to be in his knowledge and the agencies required his custodial interrogation which will be qualitatively different.
While opposing Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea, the law officer also said the agencies were seeking to exercise their statutory rights for arresting him, producing before the court concerned and taking him on police remand to interrogate him.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, argued that the former finance minister was called for questioning by the CBI only once in June 2018 and he was not even named as an accused in the FIR. He further said that apparently there are five accused in the case, and four of them are on bail.
Regarding the money laundering case, Sibal said Chidambaram has joined the investigation several times and whenever called by the agency. The High Court had earlier extended till January 24 Chidambaram's interim protection from arrest.
The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore. The massive scam came to light during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister in the UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures.
(With inputs from agencies)